Pear Pie with a Hint of Holiday Spice

Slice of Spiced Pear Pie

As I was rolling out the dough for this holiday-inspired Pear Pie I couldn’t help thinking about my mom. When I was growing up my mom did (almost) all the cooking. My dad made fudge (which we called sludge) and grilled steak (which he called earthworms and salamanders). My mom made everything else. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sweet or savory. I developed my interest in food from watching my mom. However, I didn’t grow up watching my mom make pies. Sure there was the requisite back of the can pumpkin pie that showed up each November followed by a super sticky pecan pie in December. But these pies were made, at best, by rote and more likely grudgingly. Because my mom was far more interested in pulling out her copper pans and following Julia Child’s masterful path. In other words: tartes, oui, pies, non!

Yet, I humbly reply, I can bake a mean pie. For years I wondered where I picked up the knowledge. I realize flaky crust eludes many people. I’ve tried on this blog to share tips on making good pie dough and I’ve suffered the trolls who claim my method is a fail. Oh well. Life’s too short to care about the pastry police.

These days I’m far more likely to tell people to use whatever recipe for pastry with which they feel most comfortable and skip all the references to timing, finesse, and genetically cold hands.

So as the season commences here’s a lightly sweetened pear pie with just a hint of holiday spice. Stick your hands in a bowl of ice water and use whatever recipe for pastry you like. GREG

Spiced Pear Pie

Spiced Pear Pie 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 8Published

Leave the pie in the oven as long as you dare. Let the juices really come to a bubble. It takes a while to activate the thickening agent (flour in this case). Most people don’t cook pies long enough IMHO.

Spiced Pear Pie


  • pie dough (enough for a 9‑inch two crust pie)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour (plus more for dustIng)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 ½ pound firm, ripe pears (peeled, cored and cut into 3/4‑inch chunks)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water as egg wash)
  • 2–3 teaspoon turbinado sugar
  • lightly sweetened whipped cream (optional)


On a floured surface using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the bottom crust into a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer it to a 9‑inch pie pan, letting it drape into place and over the sides evenly. Trim the edges to about ½‑inch overhang if necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.

Meanwhile, place rimmed baking sheet on the center rack of the oven, then preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, flour, cardamom, cinnamon and allspice. Add the pears and toss to coat.

Remove the prepared pie pan from the refrigerator. Spoon pear filling into pan, packing it in well to avoid large gaps. Dot the pears with the butter

Roll out the second disk of dough to 12-inch round. Moisten the edges of the bottom crust lightly with water and place the top crust over the filling. Trim to about 1‑inch overhang. Fold and tuck the overhanging upper crust under the overhanging bottom crust and press down all around to seal. Decoratively crimp the border using a fork or your fingers then make a vent in the center.

Brush the top of the pie with egg wash then sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Transfer to the rimmed baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until deeply golden brown on top and the juices are visibly bubbling from the vent.

Let the pie cool on a rack, about 3 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature with lightly sweetened whipped cream (if using),