Pear Custard Pie: Celebrate Fall With Creamy Deliciousness

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Once upon a time, a girl decided to surprise her boyfriend for the weekend. It’s a classic story: she booked a plane ticket, got his friends involved and, hardest of all, fought to keep from spilling the beans beforehand.

There were two months of wait time from idea to fruition, which meant lots of vague conversations and deceptive communication meant to throw him off along the way. But finally, early November came.

three pears for pear pie

She made phone plans with him for the day she was to arrive—or really, and maybe she should have seen this as a clue or as the thing we’d call foreshadowing in English class, he made phone plans with her, to cook something at the same time, from their separate cities.

When she’d talked about her food writing and how she’d been lacking inspiration for it, he’d suggested this idea, and she’d said, Something with pears!

Because they’ll be on sale! And she’d laughed to herself the whole time thinking, aha! he has no idea I’m coming!

The filling of a custard pear pie being mixed inside of a medium stainless steel mixing bowl | Foodal

That Saturday, after she’d landed at the airport and after she and her friend and ally had driven to his house, analyzing every option of how to actually work out the moment of surprise, they drove up to his door, ready for the sure shock that was to come, and surprise!

The joke was on her—and at least it was on her friend, too—because are you ready for this?

He had known the whole time, had accidentally read a Facebook message on her phone months before.

So there he was, greeting her at the door. With flowers. And an entire meal. Of homemade ravioli, tomato sauce and braciole.

I know.

An unbaked pear custard pie on a countertop | Foodal

As if that wasn’t enough, two days later, they still made pear pie. And it was delicious.

Adding ingredients on top of the pie to form a streusel topping | Foodal

So to keep me from any further gushing about things other than food, let’s talk about that pear pie. Have you ever had a pie with pears? I hadn’t.

Actually, I’d never even heard of it until last week, researching pear recipes. People say it’s a little like apple pie or, as in this version, like a Dutch apple pie because of the creamy custard and streusel topping.

The completed baked and ready to serve pear custard pie | Foodal

Since generally speaking I like pears more than apples and since there’s nothing quite like the creamy, sweet tang of a good custard, this pie is a brilliant combination. And if you like pears AND apples, be sure to try this recipe.

We just used a simple store-bought pie crust (there are spelt ones in the frozen section at Whole Foods, if you’re looking for a good option), so all that was involved with this was peeling and slicing the pears (me) and mixing up ingredients (him).

For a homemade crust, you can use a pate brisee version found in our pie crust guide.

An oval serving plate with a slice of pear custard pie and fork | Foodal

It bakes for about an hour and fresh out of the oven, it’s hard to slice, so if you can wait, it’s better to let it cool and chill for a while before cutting a piece.

If you can’t wait, though—and hey, we’d get along well—then scoop it out and enjoy the creamy goodness right away.

Eating it with someone you like even more than the pie? That’s entirely optional.

The Recipe

The completed baked and ready to serve pear custard pie | Foodal
Pear Custard Pie
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 20 minutes
Cook Time
55 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 20 minutes
Cook Time
55 minutes
The completed baked and ready to serve pear custard pie | Foodal
Pear Custard Pie
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 20 minutes
Cook Time
55 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 20 minutes
Cook Time
55 minutes
Ingredients
Filling:
  • 1/3 cup Powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 cups pears peeled and thinly, evenly sliced (about 4 Bosc)
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • dash of cinnamon
Streusel Topping:
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sucanat or demerara or muscovado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell (or homemade single crust)
Servings: slices
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. First, prepare the filling. Place the sliced pears in a bowl and toss with the juice of half a lime. In another large bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and the flour. Add the sliced pears and toss to coat.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the yogurt, vanilla, cream, egg, and a dash of cinnamon. Add this to the pear mixture, and stir until evenly coated. Pour the whole mixture into the unbaked pie shell.
  4. To make the topping, mix together the flour and the sucanat in a small bowl. Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the pie.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F (175°C). Bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until pears are tender.
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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography, and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.

34 thoughts on “Pear Custard Pie: Celebrate Fall With Creamy Deliciousness

  1. “further gushing about things other than food” is so fun. Yahoo for gushable blessings. Sounds like you have a keeper…and the recipe sounds great, too. Now, if only I could find a tried and true GF pie crust recipe without actually having to make a thousand recipes, I’d be all set. 🙂

  2. Haha omgosh, I did not see the end of that story coming! What a boyfriend! Can you please find me a boy that will bake all-natural pies and such with me? Seriously….

    Also, I just made an apple pie last week with the frozen spelt pie crusts from WF. Great minds think alike 🙂

  3. sweet story! that pie looks delicious! i’m craving dessert right now, and i bet a slice of that pie would be sooo good!

  4. I made apple walnut bread on Sunday with B. Baking together is one of our favorite things. Love the writing in this post. Especially the last line! And love the pics. And oh, the recipe too! It all sounds absolutely lovely. x

  5. I love that he knew! I think that when a guy is so sweet and romantic like that, it’s awesome! Kudos to him!
    So I have to ask about this frozen spelt crust… How is the texture? I’ve been wanting to try it, but just a tab afraid it wouldn’t be as flaky and yummy as the traditional

  6. Great story! It sounds like you all had fun – you planning the surprise & him planning the counter-surprise 🙂
    I’m not super big on pears but this pie does sound intriguing…thanks for sharing the recipe!

  7. Okay, can I say something totally silly? First, I didn’t know you had a bf. I can’t tell you how fun it is to know that. Even before I met you, I thought, “This girl is awesome. Why has a great guy not snagged her yet?” So you have indeed been snagged, notably by a guy who makes pie. I mean, seriously. It’s silly but so fun to get that news today.

  8. Sweet post. I recently heard of pear pie for the first time reading Nancie McDermott’s Southern Pies–I love your addition of custard and the crust looks perfect. Glad you had a little getaway…and blog inspiration always manages to creep back in somehow.

  9. Lisa, Definitely!

    Jenny, I wonder if they make premade GF crusts too? They must! And yes, he is a keeper for sure. : )

    Jacqui, : )

    Hootenannie, Ha, well thank you!

    Alicia, Get out! I didn’t even know about those crusts until Tim told me. We should have a pie party! When do you want to come over? : )

    Whitney, I’m so glad!

    Blissful, I know. I could go for another piece right now, too.

    Susan, He’s so sneaky.

    Rachel, Ha!

    Tiina, oh you are so sweet. thank you for all your excitement. : )

    Jeannie, Amazing is the right word.

    Niki, that is a good question about the crust. Honestly, I felt like it was fine–healthier and easy and gets the job done, but it wasn’t like I looooved the crust, you know? It’s good in a pinch but homemade would be better.

    MaryAnn, We did have fun!

    Kendra, Oh gosh you are gracious. Thank you for your excitement and kindness and ability to make me laugh every time you say something. The truth is, I keep thinking he’s going to realize he got the short of the stick in this deal. Seriously. And even without the pie.

    Rachel, Thanks!

    Megan, the custard is seriously what MAKES it. Amazing. And you are right–you just gotta wait it out. I think that’s true of lots of things.

  10. What a sweet and awesome story! I love that he didn’t try and act surprised but just completely turned the surprise around on you with that meal. Brilliant.

  11. You know I’d be up for a pie party ANY time. Or any party that involves eating. We still need to go to Honey too! My schedules been crazy lately but maybe next week??

  12. I think my heart warmed ten degrees reading this post. You two really deserve each other — and I mean that in the best way possible. 🙂

  13. I am baking a pear pie right now. Mine is sliced pears with a crumble topping. I wondered where I got the idea, but now I think it came from your twitter feed. Kind of wishing I had some custard for this pie, but crumbles will have to do.

  14. Angharad, I love it, too.

    Alicia, Next week would be great! Any night but Monday! E-mail me!

    Maddie, : ) Thank you, sweet girl.

    Anne, Oh, I hope you’re enjoying a nice big slice of that pie by now, and I hope the crumbles wow you like this custard did me!

  15. haha! that’s adorable! and your pie looks delicious I was thinking of making an apple pie this week but I might go with this instead..

    oh and I agree with Alicia – someone find me a boy who will bake all natural things with me! ha! I’m glad you had a good trip!

  16. i have to say…it was so good on thanksgiving that i am cosidering making it again this week. homemade yogurt works GREAT in this recipe

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