For the last couple years, I’ve made pear pie for our family Thanksgiving gathering.
But as you may remember, we moved this summer. And one of the things that got lost in the move was the recipe for that delicious pear pie that had quickly become a family favorite!
I have no idea where this magical recipe disappeared to during the move. As this year’s Thanksgiving dinner approached, I frantically searched for the recipe online, but had no luck.
And unfortunately, all I could remember from the recipe was that there was a delicious topping to the pie made with almonds and coconut…so I knew recreating the pear pie from memory was not an option. There were going to be some disappointed family members at our Thanksgiving table, that was for sure!
Eventually I realized that all I really needed to remember was that delicious almond/coconut topping combo—I could just create my own pear pie recipe, and incorporate that almond and coconut idea into my own topping.
My Pear Pie Recipe
So that’s what I did! And I have to say, my Pear Pie with Almond Coconut Topping is my new favorite pie. It’s absolutely perfect for any occasion, especially if you’re wanting to really impress guests. There is something so incredibly elegant about the pears in this pie, especially when coupled with my almond flour, sugar, and coconut topping.
My secret ingredient in this pie is kind of unique.
Can you guess what I use to really make that pear flavor sing?
Yep, Lime juice and lime zest in the pie filling and topping bring out the flavor of the pears in this sophisticated pie. And of course, lime and coconut go together, everybody knows that. 😆
Don’t forget to check out my Pie Crust Tutorial for step by step directions with photos on how to make your own homemade pie crust!
Pear Pie: A Family Favorite
This pear pie will definitely be making a repeat performance at our family Christmas dinner this year! Go get a few pears today so they have time to ripen, then enjoy this delicious, elegant, and completely addicting pie as part of your holiday celebrations this year!
A Few Things!
My Favorite Pie Dish for Pear Pie...and All Pies
And why not treat yourself to a beautiful pie dish to serve this elegant pear pie in? My Emile Henry pie dish [aff. link], the pie dish in all my pics in this post, is my absolute favorite! It bakes evenly and is so gorgeous. Utility and looks! It doesn’t get any better than that. You can find my favorite Emile Henry pie dishes on Amazon [aff. link].
My Favorite Vanilla Bean Paste
Also, you’ll see that I use one of my go-to baking ingredients in this recipe, vanilla bean paste [aff. link]. You can substitute vanilla extract, but I strongly recommend getting yourself a jar of vanilla bean paste. It’s so versatile for all your baked goods, and lasts forever because a little bit goes a long way! If you really want that vanilla flavor to shine in your baking, vanilla bean paste is the ingredient for you! Here is my favorite on Amazon [aff. link].
Pear Pie with Almond Coconut Topping
For the crust:
- 1 ½ cup flour
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup cold butter, diced into cubes
- ¼ cup cold shortening, diced into cubes
- ¼ cup very cold almond milk, or milk of choice
For the filling:
- 2 ripe large pears, or 3 small pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, (or vanilla extract)
- 1 tsp lime zest, freshly grated
- 2 tsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
For the topping:
- 2/3 cup almond flour
- 2/3 cup flour
- 2/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp lime zest
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup butter, cold and cut into cubes
Make the crust
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, and salt with a fork.
Add the cold butter and shortening
- With a pastry cutter or your hands, cut the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients. I always use my hands.
- Basically, just work the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until you end up with a crumb topping-like mixture, with little balls the size of peas.
Add the cold almond milk
- Add the almond milk, and mix until the pie dough comes together. If it feels a little dry, add an additional tsp or two of cold almond milk.
Refrigerate the dough
- Form the dough into a disk, and refrigerate the dough for at least a half hour. (You can also wrap the dough disk in saran wrap, and freeze it if you won’t use the dough for a few days.)
- After a half hour, or whenever you are ready to make the pie, take the dough disk out of the refrigerator.
Roll out the dough
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface. (Rolling the dough on a floured surface will make lifting the dough into the pie dish easier!)
- Roll the dough out to the point that if you were to place the pie dish on top of the rolled out dough, there would be 2-3 extra inches of dough around the circumference of the pie dish.
- Now that the dough is rolled out, gently fold it in half, taking care not to press it together! Fold the dough in half one more time. So you have effectively folded the dough into quarters.
Put the dough in the pie dish
- Oil your pie dish. Gently lift the folded pie dough and place it in the pie dish so that the two folded sides of the dough are in the pie dish, and the edge of the dough is going out over the edge of the pie dish.
- Now carefully unfold the pie dough. Start by unfolding it from the quarter so it is now just folded in half. Then gently unfold it so it is no longer folded in half, and is completely open, and on top of the pie dish.
- Gently press the dough down into the pie dish, then fold and scallop the edge with your fingers. This step is best explained and viewed in my Pie Crust Tutorial, which includes pictures. (Link in the "Notes" section of this recipe.)
- Place the pie shell in the freezer, and freeze for 15 minutes before putting the filling into the pie shell.
Make the filling
- In a medium size mixing bowl, add the pears, flour, sugar, vanilla bean paste, lime juice, and lime zest. Fold everything together very carefully. You want those pear slices coated in all the other ingredients, but you don’t want to break the pear slices!
- Let the mixture sit for ten minutes. The pears will release their juices.
Make the topping
- In the bowl of your food processor, add the flour, almond flour, sugar, coconut flakes, salt, and lime zest. Pulse a few times.
- Now add the cold butter cubes to the food processor, and pulse again a few times to start incorporating the butter.
- Now process the mixture until it comes together completely, and you have a thick dough. Depending on your machine, this could be a minute or two.
- Topping is done!
Compile the pie
- Now take your cold pie shell out of the freezer, and put the pear filling into the pie shell. Layer the pears in the pie shell evenly. (I like to do concentric circles with the pears.)
- Be sure to get every last bit of the filling into the pie shell!
- Now place the almond/coconut/sugar topping over the pear filling. Take a small piece of the topping dough, flatten it with your hand, and place it over the pear filling.
- Keep doing this until you have completely covered the top of the pear filing with the almond topping, overlapping each piece of topping with another so that there are no holes in the topping layer. Don’t worry about making it an even surface though, you want there to be bumps and texture!
Bake the pie
- Bake the pie at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until the crust and the topping are both golden. For me, this pear pie comes out perfectly cooked at 38 minutes every time.
- Also, be sure to rotate the pie in the oven 180 degrees about halfway through baking. This will ensure that your crust bakes evenly around the whole pie.
Serve and enjoy!
- Serve this pie alone at any temperature. It also pairs nicely with vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream. Good luck stopping at one slice! I have not yet been successful at that…!