Poached-Pear Pie with Rosemary Shortbread Crust

Dessert, Recipes

Beautiful deeply red pears poached in red wine with star anise and cinnamon not only taste incredible but will make your home smell amazing. With a rosemary crust and a rich mascarpone filling, this is sure to become a modern favorite. For deeper color and flavor, poach the pears the day before and refrigerate overnight in their poaching liquid.

 

Poached-Pear Pie with Rosemary Shortbread Crust

 

Ingredients

 

For the rosemary shortbread crust:

  • 6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

For the filling:

  • 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sugar
  • 1 strip lemon zest, about 3 inches (7.5 cm) long
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 4 firm but ripe pears (about 2 lb./1 kg total weight), peeled, halved and cored  
  • 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sugar

Directions

 

1. Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).

 

2. To make the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks, flour, salt, vanilla and rosemary and beat until just combined, about 2 minutes.

 

3. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch (23-cm) pie dish and spread evenly across the bottom and up the sides, pressing until compact. Alternatively, refrigerate the dough for 30 to 60 minutes, then roll out into a 12-inch (30-cm) round, fit into the pie dish and decoratively flute or crimp the edges. Pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork and freeze for 20 minutes.

 

4. Line the crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and cook completely, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Set on a wire rack and let cool completely.

 

5. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the wine, sugar, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon stick and star anise and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the rosemary sprig and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the pears, making sure they are mostly submerged. Simmer, turning them every 5 minutes, until just fork-tender but still firm, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature in the liquid. Refrigerate in the liquid, cut side down, for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

 

6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the mascarpone cheese, cream and vanilla. On low speed, slowly add the sugar. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 30 seconds. Pipe or spoon the filling over the crust.

 

7. Using a slotted spoon, gently remove the pears from the liquid and cut each half into slices 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick, keeping the slices attached at the stem end and fanning them slightly. Arrange the pears over the filling. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick, star anise and rosemary sprig. Transfer the liquid to a small saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Drizzle over the pie. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

 

 

The Pie Cookbook Cover

 

 

For this and more than 35 ideas for sweet and savory pies, check out The Pie Cookbook, our all-inclusive guide to making pies by the cooks of the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Poached-Pear Pie with Rosemary Shortbread Crust
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