Danish Pear Pie

I have a dear friend from Denmark. She’s one of those genuine, salt-of-the earth people. If I was ever sick or injured, I’d want to recuperate at her house because her kindness cup runneth over.

A couple of years ago she brought dessert over to our house – a pear pie.

I know it won’t surprise you to know that I was skeptical. Pears, in my book, should be crisp and crunchy. Not mushy, cooked and ripe-tasting. I realize I am in the pear minority.

Well, I was wrong. I freely admit it. Every rule has an exception and this pear pie is mine.

I begged and pleaded asked nicely for the recipe. I didn’t realize this was a family recipe written in Danish and that she’d have to go to the trouble of translating it for me, but I’m so glad she did.

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Let me tell you some things about this pie.

First, the pie looks cool because it uses pear halves and not sliced pears.

Second, the crust is the real winner of this pie. Let’s face it, that’s usually not the case with pie.   This crust is unique to any pie crust I’ve ever tried. And, I don’t want to brag, but I’ve tasted a lot of pie crust. 😉

Because the pie crust is the scene stealer, it makes sense that there is nothing in the pie filling except the pears. No sugar, no spices, nothing fancy. Just pears. Crazy, right? Crazy delicious.

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I can’t believe it took me so long to share this recipe with you. You’d think I was guarding all of my good recipes…

Seriously though, this is the perfect pie to add to a holiday meal and brace yourselves because the holiday season is about to start!

If you are one of those people that has already finished your Christmas shopping…don’t even think about bragging about that. I just…I don’t even know…how is that possible? No, don’t tell me. Just drink your eggnog in smug silence. 🙂

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This pie pairs really, really well with vanilla ice cream. Homemade whipped cream would taste like happiness on a spoon with this pie. So go ahead and try it! You’ll be happy you did!

DANISH PEAR PIE

Ingredients
4 firm, but ripe pears*
11 tablespoons salted butter
2 cups white flour
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 egg (beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla
May need 1 – 4 tablespoons cold water to hold the dough together.

Directions
1) Combine flour, sugar and ginger.
2) Cut the butter into smaller pieces and crumble it into the flour mixture.
3) In a small bowl, beat the egg and stir in the vanilla.
4) Pour the egg/vanilla mixture into the dry ingredients and quickly mix to form the dough. You may need a little water to get your dough to stick together. Start with one tablespoon of super cold water. You do not want this dough to be sticky though – it will be a pain to work with later.
5) Divide the dough into two equally-sized pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
6) When dough is ready, lightly butter a 10-inch pie plate. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
7) Roll out each piece of dough to the size of the pie plate.
8) Peel, core and cut in half each pear.
9) Place the pear halves flat side down on the dough with the top of the pear half facing the middle of the dish – like this:
pears-in-pie
10) Place the second piece of dough on top of the pears and press down on the edges of the crust to seal.
11) Brush the top of the pie very, very lightly with water and sprinkle with a bit of sugar.
12) Bake the pie for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. You may want to cover part way through to prevent edges from browning too much.
13) Serve warm or cold with ice cream or whipped cream.

*Pears can be fresh or canned. You may need to adjust the number of pears you use based on the size of your pie plate.

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