Hello!!!! I woke up today and the tree outside my bedroom window had finally started to change colors. As you may know, fall is my favorite season. New Yorkers up their wardrobe game, the trees become magical balls of fire, red wine comes back out to play as we search for a warmer alcoholic option. But what do you do if you find that you’ve opened a bottle of red but can’t finish it… you dump it on some pears, duh.
Last year, I finally discovered the way I love pears the most… when they are soaked in alcohol. (My Spiced Pear Loaf from last year.) When I passed by a few beautiful bosc pears and remembered that I had half a bottle of pinot sitting in my kitchen, I knew it was time to revisit those drunken pears.
When making these, you’ll need some kind of circular cookie cutter. If you don’t have one, I used a mini tart pan (which is how I got the scalloped edges) or use a mason jar top. If you are not too thrilled over wine, substitute pomegranate molasses.
5-SPICE WINE SOAKED PEAR HAND PIES
makes 12 hand pies
4 mall/medium bosc pears, peeled and halved
1/2 c sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 c water
1 tbsp 5-spice powder
2 1/2 c light red wine (I used pinot noir) or you can use pomegranate molasses
1 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 + 1/8 tsp fine salt
3-4 tbsp cold water
1 egg beaten w/ 1 tbsp cold water for egg wash
1 1/2 tsp sugar
- In a 4-qt saucepan, combine wine, water, sugar, lemon juice, 5-spice. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Peel pears. Place pears in packing liquid, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Turn pears over every 5 minutes.
- While your pears are soaking, start making your crust. Whisk flour and salt together and then cut in butter with pastry cutter or two knives. Mixture should look coarse and mealy. Add 1 tbsp of water at a time until the dough holds together when you squeeze and release it. Gather dough into a ball, flatten into a disk and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Remove pears and let them sit till they are at room temperature. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Remove your dough from the refrigerator. Work on the dough from the center, rolling out your dough to a 12-inch diameter. Use a 4-inch cookie cutter to stamp out a circular shape.
- Remove pears from refrigerator. Strain liquid (you can use this elsewhere so don’t throw it away). Cut pears into small cubes.
- Place a heaping 1 tablespoon of pear filling in the center of your circularly cut dough. Use a spatula to lift one side of the dough and fold that side into a half moon shape. Press pastry closed on outside. Crimp with fork. Repeat till no dough remains.
- Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Brush egg wash on to your hand pies. With a small knife create very small slits in the pies and sprinkle with castor sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until dough is golden.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Best served warm.