Pare Pear and Pair with Cheese

I did get to the pear pie I said I would try in my previous post. I grew up eating good fruit pies. Western Michigan has a band of orchards along the lake that produce great fruit. And my mother could roll out a fine crust. Fresh peaches, cherries, blueberries, and apples became nice desserts. Many years we had an abundance of pears available from trees on my grandfather’s farm, but I don’t recall ever eating pear pie back home.

Pears lack the tangy acidity of those other fruits. Last weekend, I did try a pear pie recipe found online. It had lemon zest and cinnamon and it was a palatable pie. But I thought it was about as good as a pie made from canned peaches or apples. Other fruits are more popular pie choices for a reason. I looked at some other pear dessert recipes and came up with my local take on pear pie. Poaching pears in a wine reduction sauce is something I’ve done with the firmer Kieffer pears that will ripen later.

What I put together is a bit more work than the one with lemon zest, but I think it was worth the effort. I made a muscadine/pear gallete using anise, vanilla, and cinnamon. I have muscadine wine I made last fall. A cherry wine might be similar and a fruit liqueur could be good addition. Use what you have. Use what you like. I had feta cheese on hand. Paring pear and pairing with cheese and using a wine reduction sauce with spices you like could result in something special. Here’s what mine looked like:

IMG_20150730_192530473IMG_20150730_194249127

Full disclosure  – My wife preferred the simpler pear pie with lemon zest and cinnamon. My daughter who loves apple pie didn’t really care for either one.

The spiced pear pie recipe:

One pie crust for 9″ pie – If you enter recipes in the category box in the lower left of the page, pie should be one of the choices that pops up. Its the crust I make.

1 quart peeled, sliced pears

1 and 3/4 cup muscadine wine

1 teaspoon anise seeds

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 Tablespoons sugar

5 teaspoons corn starch

Combine anise seeds, sugar and 1 and 1/2 cups of the wine in a saucepan and bring to boil. Stir occasionally and boil until 3/4 to 1 cup liquid syrup remains (6-7 minutes). Next, whisk corn starch into remaining 1/4 cup of wine. Whisk constantly over low to medium heat. As it thickens, slowly add syrup and heat to boiling. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over sliced pears and stir. Put filling into shell and bake 45-50 minutes in preheated 375 F oven. Serve with your favorite cheese.

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