Amaretto Peach and Pear Pie

September 14, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

This is one of my favorites - an adaptation of Dorie Greenspan's French Pear Tart. It works well as both a pie and a tart. I use a trusty old recipe for a buttery crust - blind baking first ensures the crust doesn't get soggy and stays crisp. This is layered with an almond cream to which I add Amaretto for luxury and cinnamon for warmth. Over this go pear and peach slices - a welcome to fall and the last reminiscence of summer. I cover it with dough cutouts, a trick I owe to Melissa Clark, though a lattice crust works just as well. I used a maple leaf cookie cutter for this pie : ) - Heena —Heena

Test Kitchen Notes

Juicy, gooey, crispy, flaky, Heena's Amaretto Peach and Pear Pie unfolds in layers of delectable flavors and textures. The crust, a miracle of rich, buttery crispness, is covered with a glorious amaretto-infused almond cream. The two fruits melt right into the other flavors, the pear slices slightly more firm than the lumps of melting peach. Heena suggests making the almond cream and pie crust ahead of time, which streamlines the final assembly. Blind baking of the bottom crust prevents sogginess (on day 3 it remains perfectly crisp), and although not specified, I assumed it should be cooled to room temperature before it is filled. Heena has given a great recipe and instructions for the pie crust dough. I made two half-batches in a small mini-prep, with perfect results. (The thinner, smaller blade worked better for me than the regular food-processor knife blade.) Most enthusiastically recommend this for an Editors' pick. - Apple Annie —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Crust (makes enough for a double pie crust; halve the recipe for a tart)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chilled unsalted butter
  • 4-6 tablespoons ice water
  • Pie
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups blanched ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons Amaretto
  • 2 medium peaches, firm but ripe
  • 3 medium pears, firm but ripe
  • 1 small fresh lemon
  • 3 tablespoons cream
  • Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Crust (makes enough for a double pie crust; halve the recipe for a tart)
  2. Blend the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor.
  3. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and drop it into the processor. Pulse until you have a coarse mixture with pea-size bits of dough. (The cold butter is essential to a flaky crust.)
  4. Add the ice water a little at a time and pulse until the dough just starts to clump and come together – stop as soon as this happens. Remove from the processor, and very gently knead the dough and divide into two. Flatten into disks, wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour (this makes it easier to roll).
  5. Generously flour your work surface and rolling pin. Place one dough disk on the surface and roll out to an 11-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a lightly buttered 9-inch pie/tart pan – to do this, fold the dough into quarters, gently lift and place in the pan with the point of the dough at the centre of the pan, and unfold. Press gently onto bottom and sides of pan. Freeze for at least half an hour (this prevents shrinking).
  6. Preheat the oven to 375?F (190?C) with the rack in the middle. Line the bottom and sides with foil and fill with rice or beans. (I find pie weights too heavy but please use them if that's what you use.) Bake until golden, about 25 mins.
  7. Do ahead: You can store the unbaked dough in the refrigerator wrapped for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to a month.
  1. Pie
  2. Make the almond cream: Process the butter and sugar in a food processor until the mixture is smooth. Add the almonds and process until well blended. Add the flour, cornstarch, cinnamon and egg and process just until the mixture is homogeneous. Blend in the liqueur. Do ahead: You can stored the cream in the refrigerator covered for up to 2 days.
  3. Peel and slice the peaches lengthwise. Peel the pears and slice lengthwise. Toss the pear slices with fresh lemon juice.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  5. Fill the prebaked crust with the almond cream. Pat the peach and pear slices dry by placing them between a double layer of paper towels. Arrange the slices alternately over the almond cream.
  6. If making a tart skip this step: Roll out the second dough disk. Use cookie cutters of your choice to make dough cutouts. Arrange the cutouts over the fruit in a pattern of your choice. (You can also use a regular lattice crust.) Brush the top crust with cream and sprinkle generously with Demerara sugar.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling, about 50-60 mins. Transfer to a rack and cool to room temperature before serving. (If you have made this as a pie, serve with the best vanilla ice cream. If made as a tart, serve dusted with confectioners' sugar and sliced almonds.)
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12 Reviews

Tracy August 8, 2020
This is a great recipe! I made a tart with pears and peaches that were a little past the ‘firm’ stage and it was delicious. The almond cream would work with lots of fruits besides these. Oh, and I used 2 Tbs of almond extract rather than amaretto which seemed to do the trick. A perfect fancy/not-fancy dessert!
Evergreengirl November 24, 2018
This was so, so delicious!! I had to make some changes due to what we had on hand: we had some ridiculously ripe comice on hand that needed a home, and no peaches; and found the amaretto bottle empty (empty!) so added pear brandy. We also used Stella Park's flaky gluten free crust, and the contrast between the soft filling and the crispy crust was downright *amazing*! My husband begged me to not change a thing, and make it again.
Niki W. July 6, 2018
This pie/tart is one of the most delicious desserts I've ever eaten. My entire family was licking their plates. The crust is fantastic!! It didn't say whether to let it cool, so I didn't. It's 114 degrees outside, and the thought of leaving the oven on one minute longer than necessary was not an option, and it was perfect. Honestly it's the best crust I've ever made, maybe best crust I've ever had. In fact, in a household that usually scrapes the pie filling off the crust, and leaves the crust on the plate, this is the first time everyone's plates were scraped clean! I'll be using this crust recipe for every pie I make moving forward. To note, I used 5 large peaches, omitting the pears all togther, and removed the shell from the oven about three minutes early, and then about three minutes early once the filling was in it. It just felt "done" to me, and it was. Maybe because my oven is convection? I also put a few fresh raspberries on the top to give it a splash of color, and it was beautiful! Thank you for what is now a new family favorite!! BRAVO!!!
Heena July 6, 2018
Hi Niki,
Thank you so much! I'd forgotten I'd put up this recipe here, so it was like a blast from the past, and your comment made my day. I 'm so happy that you and your family enjoyed the tart so much! I'm touched that it's now a family favourite!
P.S. Yes, convection ovens run hotter than regular ovens, so it goes that the tart would be done earlier. (The usual rule of thumb is to set it 20-25 F lower than the temperature mentioned for a regular oven. Hope this helps.)
Heena September 30, 2010
Annie, you're right - the pre-baked crust is cooled before being filled - sorry I forgot to mention that. Glad you enjoyed if!
AppleAnnie October 3, 2010
Heena, this is a fabulous recipe! I threw in a few fresh raspberries for color. This is the best crust recipe I have ever made. I look forward to making it again for Thanksgiving.
tiptoesinthekitchen September 17, 2010
this is gorgeous!
Heena September 17, 2010
Thanks!! : )
Sagegreen September 16, 2010
How beautiful and tasty!
Heena September 16, 2010
Thank you!! I wish I could send you a slice :)
AntoniaJames September 15, 2010
Have never even thought to combine peaches and pears . . . how interesting! The maple leaf cut-outs are just beautiful, too. Very nice. ;o)
Heena September 15, 2010
Thanks so much Antonia. The combination of peach and pear actually works quite well.