About a month ago I had this great idea to try a pear and raspberry pie. My friend Linda has a couple of pear trees and there were fresh raspberries at market so local ingredients wouldn’t be any problem. The problem turned out to be a shortage of time on my part. In the meantime Jackie at Auburn Meadow Farm posted a link to King Arthur Flour’s reference table for pie thickeners. In the bakery we always used instant tapioca, which we ran through a coffee grinder to make a fine powder, and it works very well. But throw a new idea at me and it has to be tested. The instant clear jel came a couple of days ago. Check out amazon.com – Barry Farm sells a pound for $8.35. Since I was winging this whole recipe I guessed at the amount of gel to use. It’s just a bit thicker than optimal for my taste, so the recipe given here reflects that adjustment.
I missed the raspberries, and the pears, but this idea was still on my back burner. The grocery stores are awash in beautiful fresh pears and blackberries right now. This recipe could easily be adapted to any fresh berry to complement the pears. Raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cranberries would all work because the pears are just that kind of friendly partner. I used nutmeg for flavoring but ginger could also work with some of the berries, or if you decide to use just pears.
This recipe is enough for an 8″x12″ pan as pictured, or a 10″ pie pan. You’ll have a little extra filling if you make a smaller pie. Toss it into a saucepan with a little water or juice to thin it and cook it down for a sauce to serve with ice cream, whipped cream or crème fraîche.
– Joan, 2 September 2016
Pear & Blackberry Pie
- pie crust
- 2¾-3 lbs. (1300 grams) fresh pears
- 6 oz. (170 grams) fresh berries
- 2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (162 grams) sugar
- 2-2½ tablespoons instant clear jel
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Prepare the bottom crust and refrigerate it while preparing the filling. Peel and core pears and cut each into 8 wedges. Sprinkle with the lemon juice. Mix the instant clear jel , sugar, nutmeg and salt together and pour over the pears. Stir gently till the pears are thoroughly coated. This is a fairly thick mixture but try not to break up the pears. Add filling to the refrigerated bottom crust and top as desired. A lattice crust looks great on this pie. Return to the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes while the oven is preheating to 400°F.
Brush the top crust with cream or milk. Turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for about 1 hour, till top is golden and juices are bubbling. Cool for at least 1 hour before cutting. Can be kept at room temperature for 2 days but it will be long gone before that.