Get ready to be wonderfully surprised with this Dutch Asian pear pie: a buttery and crumbly oatmeal streusel gives way to a creamy and crunchy filling that sits atop a light and flaky crust. Wait a minute. Did you just see ‘Dutch Asian pear pie’ earlier? Oh yes, you did! Have you bit into these heavenly Asian pears? Have you experienced the burst of a mouthful of sweet Asian pear nectar? No? Go, get them now!
These pale yellow beauties taste like pear nectar infused apples. Plus they’re nutritious. Crunchy and grainy, they hold a surprisingly large amount of nectar that bellies their structure. Asian pears, otherwise known as Chinese pears are grown right here in Karnataka (well, whaddya know!). They’re more easily available than regular pears and also cost lesser than them. A good lot of people shy away from adding them to pies and jams due to their high nectar content. Instead they use the nectar as a substitute for sugar and in sauces. But like I mentioned earlier, you’ll be wonderfully surprised with how it tastes in a Dutch pie.
Since we buy them at least once a month, I really wanted to see how they taste in a pie. I chose a Dutch streusel as I knew the Asian pear would boil away and release it’s nectar and get the pastry top all soggy. So I sprinkled the streusel generously over the filling; and even though I spied the streusel being pushed up, it held on firmly and didn’t let any liquid through. (Yay!) I ensured the filling was thick — I used cornflour and cream to achieve that. And the nutmeg and cinnamon took the Dutch Asian pear pie to a whole new level of yum!
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #notjustspice.
- 1 portion of pie dough (you’ll need to halve this recipe, or you could use store-bought frozen pastry sheets)
For the filling:
- 3 Asian pears / Chinese pears, skinned and chopped into small pieces (1 cm x 1/2 cm; you’ll have to do this carefully with a sharp knife as the pear bursts with nectar every time you slice through it)
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 1/3 cup medium fat or heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons lime juice or the juice of one lime
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 2 pinches salt
- 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
For the streusel:
- Half the portion of the streusel recipe found here (halve the flour, oats, and sugars but use 1/2 cup butter and the same amount of salt)
- Make your pie dough. You can use this recipe; halve the ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 176ºC (350ºF).
- To a pot add the chopped Asian pears, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon powders, lime juice and cornflour, and cook this mixture for 20 minutes, until the mixture turns thick. Set aside.
- Get your streusel ready.
- Your pie dough should be ready to roll out in an hour. Get your 8” or 9” pie plate ready.
- On a floured surface, roll it out into a circle that’s an inch larger that your pie plate when placed upside down.
- Fold it gently and place it in the plate carefully. Unwrap it and ease it into the plate, pressing it down against the side and the bottom.
- Spoon the filling onto the crust.
- Sprinkle the streusel on top of the filling a half a cup at a time, patting it down gently with your fingertips after each sprinkling.
- Put it into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Take it out immediately and let it cool and set for an hour before you serve it.
Notes: Cool them at least for an hour — this time will allow the filling to set.
Serving: Serve it at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream (I served it with whipped cream) — only if you want to; it tastes fine on its own too.
Storage: It can be kept outside if you plan to eat it all by the end of the day. Store leftover pieces of the Dutch Asian pear pie in an airtight container and let it sit in the fridge until the morrow.
Asian Pear (Wikipedia)
What Are the Benefits of Asian Pears? (healthyeating.sfgate.com)
In praise of the Asian pear (The Telegraph)
Asian Pear Pie (Betty Crocker)
Dutch Apple Pie Cookies (notjustspice)
How To Make the Perfect Classic Pastry Crust (notjustspice)