Masala Pear Pie with Blackberry Sauce


I’ve been wanting to do something with pears for the past couple of weeks. As they are currently in season, its the perfect time to use them.

I think pears get slightly overlooked with by all the apple and pumpkin flavored creations in the fall. I feel like most people either love or hate pears. As pears are some of my favorite, I knew I had to make some kind of pear pie. Most of the recipes I came across were just about the same with nutmeg & cinnamon and such. I happened to find this recipe that uses garam masala and cardamom instead, I had to give it a shot. I modified the recipe a bit but you can find the original recipe here.

Garam Masala Spiced Pear Pie

Your favorite dough for a double crust 9-inch pie
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 vanilla bean, seeds only, pod reserved for sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala, ground
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 to 3 pounds ripe pears, like bartlett’s
1 egg mixed with 1 water
Coarse sugar crystals

Preheat the oven to 350ª F. Divide the pie dough in half and roll out one piece to line the pie pan. Trim the edge to hang over about 1 inch. Place in the fridge to rest.

Separate remaining piece into 2 or 3 small balls of dough and roll each into rectangles make lattice strips. I made my lattice strips 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the lattice strips on a tray lined with paper and set these in the fridge to rest while you make the filling.

In a mixing bowl, rub the sugars together with the cornstarch, lemon zest, vanilla bean, and the spices.

Peel the pears, cut them in half and using a small scoop, remove the core, stem and the end. Cut the halves to make long, thin quarters and slice them 1/2 inch thick. Measure out 6 cups for the pie. Toss the pears in the sugar blend. Taste the pears to make sure that everything tastes good. Pour the pear mixture into the chilled pie shell. Place small dabs of butter to add a bit more flavor to your mixture.

Top the pie with the lattice strips, trim the excess from the lattice strips and roll the bottom crust up over them to form a ridge. Flute it with your finger tips. Put the pie in freezer for 15 minutes. Place the pie on a sturdy baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper or foil to catch any juices that overflow.

Brush the egg wash over the top of the pie and sprinkle with the coarse sugar. Place it in the oven and bake until the juices in the center are boiling gently, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow the pie to cool to room temperature before cutting.

As you’re waiting for the pie to cool, you can make the blackberry syrup. Serve the syrup with ice cream and your slice of pie.


Blackberry Syrup

1 pound blackberries, frozen and thawed (do not discard the juice)
1/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, reserved from the pie filling

Place the blackberries and juice in a strainer to drain. Measure out 1 1/2 cups. If you do not have that much, gently press the berries to release more. If necessary, pulse them in the blender and then strain them with a fine mesh strainer. The idea is to have juice without seeds.

Place the juice, sugar, and vanilla pod in a small stainless steel pot and cook over medium heat to melt the sugar and to bring to a gentle boil. Adjust the heat to keep it at a gentle simmer and allow it to reduce to 1/2 cup. Remove the vanilla pod and chill before serving.


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