Makes 4 Servings
4 – 5 large, firm pears
400 g superfine sugar
1 750ml bottle of dry white wine
Zest of 1 lemon
1 package of frozen puff pastry – defrosted but kept in the refrigerator.
1 extra large egg – beaten
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
The most scrumptious pear pies! Delicately poached and then wrapped with puff pastry and baked. The key to this pastry is making sure that you let the pears cool to just about room temperature before wrapping it in the pastry. The pears can be poached about a day in advance prior to baking.
Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 55 minutes
- Peel the pears keeping the stems intact. In a large pan combine 2 ½ cups of water, wine, superfine sugar, and zest. Bring to a boil, stirring so that the sugar dissolves, reduce to simmer. Put in pears, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes. If pears are very ripe and soft then only simmer for 15 minutes. The goal is to have the pears just soft enough but not overdone so that they retain their shape.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the pears and set on either parchment paper of a cooling rack.
- Return the syrup to a boil, and boil until reduced by half. This may take you 10-20 minutes. Keep checking your syrup, it should be golden but not brown and should just coat the back of a spoon. This is a difficult technique timing wise so practice and patience are the only ways for success. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Using a melon baller or a small spoon core the pears. This can all be done about 1 day in advance, with the actual baking done before serving.
- Once the pears and syrup are cooled off, roll out both sheets of the puff pastry to approximately 12”X10”. Make sure not to roll it out any more than 1/4 inch thick or it will become too difficult to manage.
- Using a ruler and a pizza cutter, or your rolling pin and a knife (the options are endless) cut the pastry into long strips about 1/3 inch wide.
- Preheat oven to 400*F and prep one baking sheet with parchment paper
- Brush the pears with the cooled syrup
- Starting from the bottom of the pear start rolling each strip of pastry around it. As you start on the next strip make sure to tuck the ends in until each pear is completely wrapped in pastry.
- Cut out leaf shapes from the pastry, using a sharp knife, draw leaf veins and using a little sugar syrup place the leaves on top of the pastry just below the stem.
- Put the pears on the baking sheet and place into refrigerator meanwhile the oven preheats. Preheat oven to 400*F.
- Brush pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Note – you can create little “hats” out of tinfoil to put on the stems, to keep them from turning black. I leave this step at your discretion.
- Remove from oven, cool for 10-15 minutes and serve with a drizzle of the syrup.