Saturday, February 12, 2011

Yes there's a recipe.

By popular request, yes the Asian pear pi pie does have a recipe. Here it is..

1) Have wifey come home with a number of asian pears.
2) Leave them lying around for a couple of days, until you work out that no one is going to eat them.
3) Chop up the pears, put them in a pan with just enough water to cover, 1/3 cup sugar and cook until they're soft. Then freeze them in a ziplock bag so they don't go off.
4) Wait a few weeks until you run out of space in the freezer and so decide to use the bag of asian pear slices for something.
5) Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
6) Get out the pears and defrost, but retain all the juice that comes out and put it in a bowl. The freezing will have bust up all the cell walls, which is good.
7) Put the slices in a sieve or colander over the bowl with the juice, sprinkle on some sugar and mix it in with your hands. Leave it to macerate for an hour, giving it a mix with your hands every now and then. Lots more juice will collect in the bowl.
8) Put the juice in a pan and add three heaping tablespoons of sugar. Heat it and boil it until it reduces to 1/3 of the original volume. It will be a nice thick syrup at that point.

9) While the syrup is reducing, make enough sweet pastry for your baking dish. I won't tell you how to make pastry. I use the recipe in the Julia Child book. But I make about 50% more than they suggest, because frankly, trying to roll out 'just enough' pastry to fit a dish is hell.
10) Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, the zest and juice of 1 lemon and a small sprinkling of allspice and nutmeg to the pear slices and mix together.
11) Roll out 1/2 the pastry and put in the baking dish.
12) Fill it with the pear slices.
13) Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour over the pears evenly.
14) Pour the pear juice reduction/syrup evenly over the pears. It all would have been too soggy if you hadn't reduced the liquid.
15) Egg wash the lip to make it stick to the lid. Roll out and put on the pastry lid, make some steam holes, fashion a Pi shape with bits of pastry cut from the edge of the baking dish.
16) Cover all over with egg wash for nice browing.
17) Generously sprinkle with turbinado sugar for a nice granular look on top.
18) Cook for about an 50 minutes to 1 hour in the 350 degree oven.
19) Take out and allow to cool. If you like, put it in the fridge so it sets up inside.
20) Have someone import Bird's eye custard powder (unless you're in the UK), prepare as on the instructions on the packet and apply liberally to a slice of the pie.

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