Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Recipe

Maple Pear Slab Pie

Featured in our 2017 Thanksgiving and 2017 Christmas Guides
Tina Rupp

Servings: 12

The secret to the filling’s deep, rich flavor begins with cooking half of the pears with maple syrup until they are caramelized and reduced to a thick purée. Folding in lemon, ginger, and more pears injects bright, fresh notes that balance out the richness. The buttery cream cheese dough is laced with cornmeal and poppy seeds, giving it a subtle, nubby texture and making it a perfect complement to the filling.

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 8 Tbs. (4 oz./113 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 oz. (57 g) cream cheese,
  • 3 Tbs. ice cold water
  • 1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. (5 oz./142 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, more for rolling the dough
  • 1⁄3 cup (1-1⁄2 oz./42 g) finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1-1⁄2 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 1⁄4 tsp. table salt

For the filling

  • 2-1⁄4 lb. (1 kg.) ripe pears (about 5 medium)
  • 2 Tbs. (1 oz./28 g) unsalted butter
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) pure maple syrup, grade B
  • 1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • Pinch or two of table salt
  • 2 Tbs. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. chopped crystallized ginger

For assembly

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. water

Preparation

Make the dough

  • Cut the butter in half lengthwise and then cut each strip into 6 pieces. Cut the cream cheese into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces. Pile the butter and cream cheese on a plate and slide into the freezer until ready to use. Measure the water, add the lemon juice, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, poppy seeds, and salt in a large bowl until well blended. Add the cold butter and cream cheese pieces and, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter and cream cheese into the flour mixture until the pieces are pea-sized, about 3 minutes. (You can also do this a food processor, omitting the cornmeal and poppy seeds, using short pulses; scrape the blended mixture into a large bowl before adding the cornmeal and poppy seeds and proceeding.)
  • Pour the water mixture over the flour mixture and, using a silicone spatula, stir and fold until it forms a shaggy, moist dough with some floury bits remaining (I like to use one hand to help mix while keeping the other working the spatula.) Scrape the dough and any remaining floury bits into a pile on the counter. Starting with the top of the mound and using the heel of your hand, smear a section of the dough down the side and along the work surface away from you to blend the butter pieces into the dough. Repeat with the remaining dough in sections. Using a bench scraper, fold the dough together (the mixture will be rough and crumbly). Turn the pile about 90 degrees and repeat the smearing process until the mixture just comes together into a cohesive dough (this is a technique called fraisage). Be careful not to overwork the dough because that will make the crust dense. Shape the dough into a 6 x 8-inch (15 x 20 cm) rectangle, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.

Make the filling

  • Peel and core the pears, chop into 1⁄2-inch (12 mm) pieces, and divide into two equal piles. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add one pile of pears and the maple syrup to the butter. Bring to a boil and cook over medium, stirring frequently and pressing on the pears to smash them as they cook, until the mixture is a deep amber color, very thick, and no longer juicy, 14 to 16 minutes. Slide the pan off the heat and add the lemon juice, fresh ginger, and salt; stir until well blended.
  • Put the remaining pears in a medium bowl, sprinkle with the flour, and toss with a spatula until blended. Scrape the pears and any remaining flour or juices into the skillet and stir until blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the pears are tender and the mixture is very thick, 7 to 9 minutes. Slide the pan off the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning, and set aside, stirring occasionally, until completely cool. If using immediately, stir in the crystallized ginger. Or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days and add the crystallized ginger just before using.

Assemble and bake

  • Have ready a large cookie sheet. Mix the egg and water with a fork in a small bowl until well blended.
  • Roll the dough between floured parchment, lightly flouring between rolling and flipping, to a rectangle slightly larger than 12 x 14 inches (30.5 x 35.5 cm). Peel away the top piece of parchment and, using a sharp paring knife and a ruler, trim the edges to get a neat 12 x 14-inch (30.5 x 35.5 cm) rectangle. Arrange the parchment so one short end of the dough is facing you. Using the ruler and the dull side of the knife, mark the dough lengthwise into three 4-inch (10 cm) wide panels, being careful not to push through the dough. Starting at the top, cut 1-inch-wide strips at a 45-degree angle down the length of the two outer panels, discarding the 2 triangles at both the top and bottom.
  • Spoon the cooled filling down the center panel and spread evenly, leaving a 1⁄2-inch (12 mm) border of dough on the top and bottom. Fold these borders of dough over the filling, pinching the corners to seal. Starting at the top and alternating sides, fold the strips of dough at a 45-degree angle over the filling, pressing the edges firmly into the dough before continuing with the next strip. Be careful not to pull or stretch the dough. Tuck the end of the last strip under the pile. Slide the cookie sheet under the pie and parchment and transfer to the fridge. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F (190°C/gas 5).
  • Brush the top of the slab pie generously with the egg wash. Bake, rotating the cookie sheet halfway through, until the pie is deep golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Move the sheet to a rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Using a long offset spatula, carefully remove the pie from the sheet, set on a rack, and let cool completely. The slab pie is best when served the same day and can be warmed slightly in a 300°F (150°C/gas 2) oven, if desired.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough can be made and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling.

The filling can be made, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

For a special finishing touch, sprinkle the top with confectioners’ sugar and serve with vanilla, cinnamon, or maple ice cream.

Reviews

Rate or Review

Reviews

We haven't received any reviews yet for this recipe.

Have you made it? Tell us what you thought!

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Videos

View All

Moveable Feast Logo

Season 4 Extras

Taos, New Mexico (503)

Experience the rich history of the mountainous Taos region of New Mexico as Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking gets a taste of its incredible ingredients. Host Curtis Stone meets Christopher…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks