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Food

Adventures in CSA: Pear Custard Pie

It’s week 3 of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Box series, and I’m still getting so much delight out of these deliveries! Another reason why I love this box is that it encourages me to use ingredients I typically wouldn’t buy. 

I don’t particularly love pears, I don’t dislike them either, but I wouldn’t think to buy them at the store, and I certainly wouldn’t go looking for recipes to use them in. However, when I received four lovely looking pears this week, I had a bit of an epiphany: pears are practically related to apples – actually, I’d call them distant cousins. In fact, a quick Google search proved my theory, stating they are both Pome fruits. Ah! Why had I not figured this out sooner? Have I been missing out on years’ worth of scrumptious recipes because I ignored this now intriguing ingredient? I absolutely love apples and have several apple-centric recipes to get me through the fall. I got right to work making up for lost time, figuring out what I could sub out pears for and if any adjustments needed to be made.  

I decided to make Pear-Custard Pie – I use the word pie somewhat loosely as this recipe is so simple that it doesn’t even have a crust – and when I think of pie, I think of said buttery, golden crust, although this does have a buttery, golden top and smells just as delicious so I let it slide.

Pear Custard Pie

Prep Time: 20 min

Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pears, any variety
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • A pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
Get creative with what you have on hand. Photo: Chef Gina

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
  2. Thinly slice pears and add to the pie pan
  3. Mix butter, eggs, milk, salt, sugar, flour, and vanilla together in a bowl 
  4. Pour batter mixture over pears 
  5. Bake for 35 minutes, until pie has risen and the top is golden brown
  6. Serves eight (can be served on its own or with ice cream or whipped cream)

Pro Tips

  • I used pears that were not yet super ripe. I like the firmer texture it provided against the soft custard filling. Asian pears would work for this method as well. 
  • I did NOT peel the pears, again, as I like a little bit of texture, but peeling would make the whole pie smoother.
  • Because this recipe isn’t super scientific, you can use any type of milk or milk substitute, sugar or sugar substitute, or even a flour substitute such as almond. Next time, I may try it with heavy whipping cream, thinking it will make the final product even fluffier and/or brown sugar instead of white, for a slightly more autumn feel.

About Chef Gina Veneziano

Hailing from a long line of chefs, Gina spent much of her early childhood at her family’s restaurant.  Always wanting to make a career of it, she has spent the last 15 years doing everything from interning at a butcher shop to concepting food trucks to catering sales to most recently, recipe development and culinary innovations. She prides herself in being the only person to successfully recreate her grandmother’s famous meatballs – you can usually catch her, apron on, and a glass of prosecco in hand – cheers! 

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