Poached Pears & Pistachio Pie

Oh Pears, you are definitely the understated fruit of Fall. 
It's hard to imagine how this curvy bounty could have been overlooked for so long, but this year I've got a couple bushels sitting on our front porch, waiting to be devoured.   

This last month I've really enjoyed my time off of running to explore hobbies that usually gets pushed aside. Photography has always been a passion I've wanted to develop deeper, but have never really taken the time to do so. After reading several food photography books, one of which displayed a beautiful photo of a pear and pistachio tart, I was instantly motivated and inspired to do the same. This pie has the best of both worlds, sweet pears mixed with salty pistachios. Watch out apples and pumpkins, pears are going to kill it this season. 

Poached Pear & Pistachio Tart
adapted from Bon Appetit

Poached Pears
4 cups water
1 1/4 sugar
4 pears, peeled

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
8 tablespoons Earth Balance Butter
1/4 salt

Pistachio Cream
1 cup pistachios
2 poached pears, chopped
1/4 cup water
1/4 maple syrup

Caramelized Pistachios
3 TB sugar
2 TB water
1/4 - 1/2 cup pistachios


Heat water and sugar in a deep sauce pan until sugar dissolves. Add whole, peeled pears to water. Simmer pears for 40 minutes or until tender all the way through. Set aside to cool. You will be using two pears for cream and two for the topping. Once cooled, slice pears lengthwise.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Start preparing pie crust. In a food processor combine flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Once mixed, add butter and blend until mixture looks like coarse meal. Pour into 9" springform pan and press dough down into pan. Freeze for about 10 minutes. Pre bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Set aside. 

To prepare the caramelized pistachios, add water and sugar in saucepan and cook on medium heat until sugar dissolves. Turn heat up until the sugar starts to caramelize. Add pistachios and stir to coat fully. Transfer to a baking sheet to cool.
Next, work on the pistachio cream. Blend pistachios in food processor to a fine grain, adding pears, water, and maple syrup. Blend until the cream is smooth. Pour cream into crust. Take sliced pears for topping and arrange on top of cream. Sprinkle caramelized pistachios on top. 

Bake on 375 degrees for another 10-15 minutes or until crust is brown.

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