Spicy Pear Pie
For the pastry 225g (8oz) plain flour 100g (4oz) unsalted butter a pinch of salt For the pear filling 700g (11/2lb) firm pears (Comice are good ones) 3 tbsp Calvados or brandy 100g (4oz) caster sugar Pinch of black pepper 1 egg yolk mixed with a little wa
For the pastry
225g (8oz) plain flour
100g (4oz) unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
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For the pear filling
700g (11/2lb) firm pears (Comice are good ones)
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3 tbsp Calvados or brandy
100g (4oz) caster sugar
Pinch of black pepper
1 egg yolk mixed with a little water, for glazing
3 fl oz sour cream
USE the pastry ingredients to make your usual shortcrust or rough puff mixture, then leave it in the cool for an hour or two to rest. Peel the pears and slice fairly thickly.
Marinade the pears for 30 minutes in a bowl with the brandy, black pepper and 75g (3oz) of the caster sugar. This really makes the juices run and produces a small amount of liquid. Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C, Gas Mark 6.
Roll out 2/3 of the pastry dough and use it to line a 20cm round pie dish; leave pastry overlapping the edges of the dish. Prick the pastry with a fork, fill with the drained pears (reserving the juice) and add the remaining caster sugar. If you have one, put a pie funnel in the middle. Roll out the rest of the dough and cover the pie, trimming the edges and pressing the top and bottom edges together well.
Glaze the pie with the egg and water mix. Make a hole in the middle of the top of the pastry if you haven't put a funnel in. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. When nearly done, reduce the pear/brandy juice slightly, add the sour cream and stir until warmed through again, without boiling.
Take the pie from the oven and gradually add the cream mixture through the hole in the top. Serve warm or cold; enough for six.