7 September 2014

Mini Pear Pies


Eve 07/09/14

Sweet pears poached in white wine are wrapped in a homemade puff pastry and baked until golden brown. Fruit pie has been taken to the next level!



The Bake Off fever has caught me! After watching this weeks episode on "Pies and tarts", I couldn't wait to try the technical challenge - mini pear pies! 

These pies are certainly not mini, they are huge! Despite the size of these pies, they are truly delicious. They seriously deserve a place in a french patisserie. 



Sweet dessert pears poached in a fragrant and heavenly syrup made of water, sugar and white wine with cinnamon and orange. Oh wow! That poaching mixture tastes absolutely amazing. The white wine I chose was a dry and sweet 2013 Pinot Grigio from Italy. This wine is crisp with notes of sweet peach and pear, perfect for my pies! 

Just a warning though - the poaching syrup is incredibly sweet as well as flavoursome. I wouldn't advise that you drink plain. 






The pastry that is wrapped around these luscious pears is homemade (homemade!) puff pastry. This was the very first time I have made puff pastry and it won't be my last! It is actually very easy to make, you just need some time and patience and then you are on you way to pastry perfection. 

Homemade puff pastry tastes 10000000% times better than the shopbought stuff. Incredibly butter and flaky, it tastes exactly like a freshly baked, all-butter croissant. 
Who doesn't love a croissant? I have to say, I haven't had a croissant since last summer when I was in France.

I am sorry if I talk a lot about France today. It is just that.... 
I am going to Paris!!! Yes, that's right! I am going for Christmas with my family, I can't wait to see the markets, architecture and most of all, the boulangeries and patisseries!

Also, to feed my love of France, I am going skiing in the French Alps for my Birthday in March.

I think I will be eating a lot of croissant soon!



Anyway, back to the pies.
Once you have poached your pears, you must let them cool completely at room temperature. Don't be tempted to put them in the fridge! I find that the harshly cool temperature of the fridge will mute the delicate flavours of the syrup. I left my pears to cool for 4 hours. While they are cooling, you can sing, dance, do some yoga or just casualty get on with your weekend life. 

I also recommend, that if you are making your own pastry (give it a go!) that you make it the day before or even a few days before making the pies. This gives you enough time to make the pastry perfect! I made my pastry after school on Friday and then completed the pies today (Sunday).

I like to take my time... 3 days.
The Bake Off contestants... 2 hours!

In the Bake Off, the contestants made rough puff pastry but instead, I made classic puff pastry. If you would like to make rough puff instead of puff, click on the link at the bottom of the recipe!



Delicious...
Ambrosial...
Divine...

These pies may look difficult to make but I promise you, they are a walk in the park. Read the recipe, preheat the oven and take your time. Good food should be fun and rewarding to make as well as eat. 



Pears are such a wonderful fruit, may they be enjoyed plain or in a cake, pie or dessert. I think pears are an underrated fruit, they deserve some time to shine! If you love pears like I do, this recipe is great as well!






Mini Pear Pies




Posted by Eve
Makes 6
Ingredients

For the puff pastry

  • 200g plain flour
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 150g butter, ice cold
  • 100ml - 150ml water, ice cold

        or

  • 500g Shopbought puff pastry

For the poached pears

  • 6 large, firm pears (preferably ones that are straight and tall) peeled and stalks intact 
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 400ml water
  • 500ml  dry white wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange, zest only

To finish

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar 

Method
  1. If making the homemade puff pastry, see here on how to make it. 
  2. Meanwhile, for the poached pears, peel the pears, keeping the stems intact. Tip the caster sugar into a large saucepan with the water, white wine, cinnamon and orange zest and slowly bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the pears to the pan. Bring back to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Reserving the syrup, remove the pears from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool on kitchen paper. Using a melon baller or small teaspoon remove the core from the pears.
  4. Return the syrup to the heat and boil rapidly for 10-15 minutes until the volume of the liquid is reduced by half and the syrup is thick. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  5. When the fruit and syrup are cool, roll out the chilled pastry to a rectangle measuring 60cm x 20cm and a thickness of no more than 5mm.
  6. Using a sharp knife and a ruler cut the pastry into long strips 8mm wide. You will need about 18-20 strips.
  7. Brush the pears with the cooled sugar syrup and starting from the bottom, wrap the pastry strips around the pears. When you come to the end of the pastry strip, brush the end lightly with syrup and press to adhere to the next pastry strip. Continue wrapping until you reach the top of the pear. (Three strips should cover each pear). Tuck the end of the last pastry piece behind the previous dough spiral.
  8. Cut out six leaf shapes from the remaining pastry. Draw veins on the leaves with a sharp knife and stick one leaf below the stem of each pastry pear, with a little sugar syrup. Chill the pears for 15 - 20 minutes. 
  9. Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/ gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or a non-stick mat. Place the pastry covered pears and brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes then serve with a drizzle of the reduced sugar syrup.



Enjoy!


Recipe adapted from The Great British Bake Off, BBC 

8 comments:

  1. Wow! I have never seen anything like this before! What a super impressive dessert!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jessica, impressive with not a lot of effort!
      Eve x

      Delete
  2. These are unbelievably gorgeous. And what a great idea!! Totally pinned!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have never made a little wrapped pear pie like this before, seriously good idea. They look delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thalia, you should watch The Great British Bake Off, there are just so many impressive ideas, including this one!
      Eve x

      Delete
  4. I have to say I didn't like the look of these when I saw them on the Bake-Off, but yours look excellent! Kudos to you for making homemade puff pastry too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kerry! As soon as I saw these on the Bake-Off, I actually couldn't way to try them. Make sure you tune in tonight - it's pastry week!
      Eve x

      Delete

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