First, don’t you dare turn your nose up at this pie yet. You haven’t even tried it.
Second, I did try it. It’s good. And it doesn’t taste like jalapeños or jelly.
Third, I made this pie way back in August (remember that part, where it was summer and all?!) and then September ran away with me and tomorrow is the first day of October so September’s pie of the month almost turned into October’s pie!
Back to #1. Really, don’t turn your nose up yet. Seriously. This pie is good. I would not have tried it except that Kevin Haedrich, the author of my favorite pie resource (aptly named Pie) gave me the same advice. His intro to this pie is, “I think you’ll be surprised at how good this is.” When I posted on FB that I needed inspiration for September’s pie, my friend LeAnn suggested “something with pears.” I’ve had pear pie before and it was not my favorite. I wasn’t excited about that idea, but when I went to the produce market and the pears were on sale for $.33 a pound, I figured it was divinely inspired. This pear pie recipe intrigued me, so I sprung for it. And boy am I glad I did! It’s delicious! I had LeAnn and the rest of my book club girls guess the secret ingredient. It took several guesses before they could even say, “Something peppery?” I finally told them what it was because they were never going to guess jalapeño jelly. So there. I wasn’t kidding. It doesn’t really taste like jalapeños or jelly.
Try it. And when you do, let me know what you think.
from my favorite pie resource, Pie
This pie is unexpectedly good. Try it.
Note: If you like, you can substitute up to half sliced apples for an equal amount of sliced pears.
- If you haven't already done so, prepare the pastry and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.
- Divide the pastry into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the larger portion of the pastry into a 12-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Invert the pastry over a 9-inch standard pie plate, center, and peel off the paper. Gently tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching it, and let the overhang drape over the edge. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Put the pears in a large bowl. Combine the jelly and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the butter melts, then whisk to smooth the mixture and pour it over the pears. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, five-spice powder, and salt in a small bowl. Stir the mixture into the fruit and set aside.
- On another sheet of floured waxed paper, roll the other half of the pastry into a 10-inch circle. Turn the filling into the chilled pie shell, smoothing the top with your hands. Lightly moisten the rim of the shell. Invert the top pastry over the filling, center, and peel off the paper. Press the top and bottom pastries together along the dampened edge. Using the back of a paring knife, trim the pastry flush with the edge of the pan and then pinch the pastries together to seal. Poke several steam vents in the top of the pie with a fork or paring knife. Put a couple of the vents near the edge of the crust so that you can check the juices there later. To glaze the pie, lightly brush the pastry with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
- Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 and rotate the pie 180 degrees so that the part that faced the back of the oven now faces forward. Just in case, slide a large aluminum-lined baking sheet onto the rack below to catch any spills. Continue to bake until the top is golden and any visible juices bubble thickly through the side steam vents, about 25-30 minutes.
- Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 hour. Serve with scoops of ice cream.