Open-face pear & berry pie

This stun­ning mod­ern pie is made by com­bin­ing two clas­sic desserts – poached pears and a fruit pie. We’ve ar­rang­ing the pears in a neat as­ter­isk, and used small pas­try cut­ters to add de­tail to the top of the pie.

BBC Good Food - - Comfort -

SERVES 5 PREP 35 mins plus cool­ing COOK 1 hr MORE EF­FORT V

plain flour, for dust­ing

300g sweet short­crust pas­try freshly grated nut­meg

1 egg, beaten

1 tbsp de­mer­ara sugar cus­tard, cream or ice cream, to serve for the poached pears 75g white caster sugar 1 lemon, pared 5 car­damom pods ½ nut­meg

1 cin­na­mon stick

3 small pears, peeled cored and halved for the fill­ing

3-4 small pears, peeled cored and chopped 75g white caster sugar

2 tsp corn­flour

2 tbsp ground al­monds

150g berries (we used rasp­ber­ries and black­ber­ries)

1 To make the poached pears, put the sugar in a big saucepan with the lemon peel, car­damom pods, nut­meg, cin­na­mon and 1 litre wa­ter. Bring to a gen­tle sim­mer. Lower the pear halves into the liq­uid and place a cir­cle of bak­ing parch­ment on top, so they cook through prop­erly. Leave over a medium heat, so that a few bub­bles break the sur­face ev­ery now and then, and cook for 15 mins. Al­low to cool in the liq­uid. Can be chilled overnight if mak­ing ahead.

2 Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Dust the work sur­face with a lit­tle plain flour. Roll out the pas­try so it’s big enough to line a 20-23cm fry­ing pan, pie dish or shal­low bak­ing tin. Grate a lit­tle nut­meg over the sur­face, then gen­tly roll again to help it stick. Lift over your dish, press into the cor­ners, then trim the edges. You can give it a pretty crimped edge, if you like, then wrap the off-cuts in cling film and keep in the fridge un­til needed. Scrunch up a sheet of bak­ing parch­ment, un­fold, and lay it over the pas­try. Fill with bak­ing beans and bake for 15 mins. Re­move the beans and parch­ment, brush with some of the beaten egg and re­turn to the oven for an­other 5 mins.

3 Mean­while, make the fill­ing. Cook the re­main­ing pears and sugar in a small pan un­til the pears are soft enough to squash with the back of a spoon. Drain off 3 tbsp of the poach­ing liq­uid and mix this with the corn­flour, then pour back into the pears and con­tinue cook­ing and squash­ing for an­other minute or so, un­til the fill­ing has thick­ened.

4 Sprin­kle the ground al­monds over the pas­try case, then add the squashed pear mix­ture and scat­ter over the berries. Re­move the poached pears from their liq­uid and blot them on some kitchen pa­per. Ar­range them face-up among the pear mix­ture and berries. Us­ing a mini pas­try cut­ter, cut lit­tle shapes from the left­over pas­try, then ar­range them on top. Brush the pas­try pieces with beaten egg and sprin­kle with the de­mer­ara sugar. Bake for 45-50 mins un­til the pas­try is golden and berry juice is bub­bling. Cool for 10-15 mins be­fore serv­ing with cus­tard, cream or ice cream, if you like.

GOOD TO KNOW fi­bre • 1 of 5-a-day

PER SERV­ING 547 kcals • fat 19g • sat­u­rates 9g • carbs 85g • sug­ars 59g • fi­bre 6g • pro­tein 7g • salt 0.4g

We used lit­tle fluted round cut­ters, but you could use any shaped mini cut­ters you like

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