Asian Pear Pie(s) + Coconut, Ginger, and Almond

This week Pi Day (not actually as in the baked good, but as in the mathematical constant) is among us, so instead of making one delicious pie, I made six mini pies. I get it, what does Pi have to do with Pie, and other than a name, nothing really. It is just a good excuse for the lovers of baking to bake ooey gooey pies.

Although I do have a confession — I didn’t even know Pi Day was a thing among bloggers and bakers until my friend and fellow blogger Maria [A Common Connoisseur] mentioned baking some hand pies for it. So in the word of Barney Stinson, “Challenge Accepted!”

Of course like most, I was keen on baking one of the classics: apple, peach, or pecan. Especially considering no matter how you prepare a classic, they rarely disappoint. But really where is the fun in that? I believe you should always try to challenge yourself when given the opportunity. Per usual, my inspiration for this recipe came about from seasonal ingredients I had handy around the house.

I absolutely love Asian Pears, they are crisp like an apple yet much juicer. Normally cooks feature them in salads because they pair delightfully with savory flavors, but the firmer flesh make them ideal for baking.

As for the flavor profile of the pie, I could not in good conscious add in a bunch of spices and mask the delicate flavor. Spring is almost here, so the combination of coconut and almond felt right, and there was no better way to add those flavors than through a crunchy buttery crumble on top.

The recipe calls for 6 mini pie pans, but if you did not have any mini pie pans this recipe would adapt perfectly into one large pie.

Coconut Pie Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1/8 Cup of Cold Butter
  • 1/8 Cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Light Brown Sugar
  • A Pinch of Salt
  • Ice Water for Binding

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together your flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. Into the dry mixture, cut in your butter and coconut oil with a pastry mixer. The end result should resemble course sand.
  3. Pour in enough water to bind the mixture into a dough.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for no more than thirty minutes before using.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Once ready to use, flour your hands and divide dough into 6 balls.
  7. One at a time, roll out each ball to a width slightly larger than the pie pan. Then place each rolled out piece of dough into each pie pan.
  8. After placing the dough inside of the pans, fill each pan with parchment paper then pie weights.
  9. Par-bake the crusts for about 10 minutes to ensure the bottoms are not soggy.

Pie Filling

Ingredients:

  • 3 Asian Pears, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon of Flour
  • A Pinch of Salt

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl toss together all of the ingredients, stir until fully combined.
  2. Set aside and let rest while you prepare the rest of the ingredients

Crumble Topping

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Cup of Candied Ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons of Cold Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of Light Brown Sugar
  • A Pinch of Salt

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the almonds, ginger, sugar, salt, and flour.
  2. With your fingers, work in the cold butter until the mixture comes together as coarse chunks.

Asian Pear Pie

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Divide your pie filling evenly among all six par-baked pie crusts.
  3. Equally top each pie with your prepared crumble topping.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the crumble topping is lightly golden brown.
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