Ginger Pear Pie

I think I’m developing a bit of a crush on pie.  I’m drawn to the rustic sensibilities of an old fashion fruit pie.  They bear a pleasing sense of symmetry but are never fussy.  They don’t pretend to be perfect yet I personally find comfort and perfection in that.  They are approachable, delivering on flavor with a sense they’ve been around forever and aren’t going anywhere soon.  They seem totally ok with only being made when you are in the mood and would rather be enjoyed on that occasion rather than to be made for less genuine intent.
I don’t have a great deal of ‘from scratch’ fruit pie baking experience.  They scare me a little bit to be quite frank.  It seems so much more predictable to pour all ingredients into a pan and bake a cake.  However there are certain fruits that seem to beg to be baked into a pie.  When I received two boxes of beautiful pears from Oregon a few weeks ago as a gift, my wheels began turning about dishes to include them in while savoring them in their natural state.  The chance to make a Ginger-Pear Pie recipe from my stash of vintage recipes sprang forth with a sense of destiny.
This pie represents a second ‘first’ on my pie accomplishment list: my first double crust pie.  I recently made a vintage Cherry Pie recipe requiring a woven top.  Mine was definitely ‘beginner’ style but a success nonetheless.  I was unsure if I could expect a second pie coup with the top crust but am delighted to say it turned our beautifully.
My vintage recipe suggests this pie can also be made without the ginger.  I loved the flavor with the ginger but will caution crystallized ginger is strong in taste.  I would resist the ‘more is better’ motto, lest the delicate pear flavor become overwhelmed by the ginger.
·         Your favorite pie pastry for two 9 inch crusts (gluten free or regular)
·         4 tablespoons orange marmalade or mixed citrus marmalade (click here for my choice)
·         Juice of one lemon (for use see ingredient instruction below for the pears)
·         6-7 medium pears (Bartlett or Anjou recommended), cored, peeled and sliced in ¼ inch thick slices and tossed in the juice of one lemon listed above
·         1-2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, minced
·         ¼ cup sugar
·         ¼ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
·         ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
·         ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
·         ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
·         2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch
·         2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces
·         1 egg
1.       Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2.      Prepare one crust and line a 9 inch pie pan with it.  Spread the bottom of the pie crust with the marmalade.
3.      In a large bowl, combine the pears, ginger, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and cornstarch/arrowroot starch.  Toss gently to combine.
4.      Spoon into prepared pie crust.  Place pieces of butter on top of the pie filling.
5.      Prepare an egg glaze with the egg, whisked with one tablespoon water.  Brush the edge of the prepared pie crust with the egg glaze.  Set the egg glaze aside.
6.      Prepare the second pie crust.  Place on top of the pie filling allowing ¾ inch of the crust to overhang the filled crust.  Fold the top crust edges over the filled crust edges, and pinch together to make a fluted edge.  Cut vent holes on the top (I cut 4 long slits and a ½ inch circle in the middle).
7.      Brush the top with the egg glaze and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
8.      Place pie in the lower portion of the oven at 425 degrees and bake for 12 minutes. 
9.      Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees, move the pie to the middle of the oven and bake 30-35 minutes longer or until top crust is golden.  Check the pie during the last 30-35 minutes and if the crust edge is beginning to over brown, cover with foil (edges only).
10.  Remove and cool on rack.  Serve at any temperature but perfect warm with vanilla ice cream!


  1. says

    Toni, I have many pieces of that same glassware you've featured in your blog today. I love it. And, as I claim not to be able to bake, I have been known to make really good pies. Thanks to my mom. This combination sounds delicious and your pie looks beautiful.

    • says

      The antique hobnail plates were a gift from my Grandmother. Toward the end of her life many of my gifts were objects of hers since she knew how much I loved and appreciated them. These I think she purchased and I do love them too! I love things that have lived a life! Thank you for your kind comments on the pie Lea Ann.

  2. says

    I love the dishes! Very pretty. I also would love a slice of the pie with my coffee right now. I may have to start baking some pies. This one is very tempting, since I love ginger and pears. Whenever we have pears in the house my daughter request for me to bake a french pear cake. It is one of her favorite.

    • says

      I am sure why your daughter requests that cake; it sounds great! This pie was really good. A unique flavor with the pears and ginger and not overly sweet. I do love pie and am growing fonder of it with each making.

  3. Bloggy Writer says

    I love this recipe, thanks for sharing it to all food lovers like me, something new to try with ginger.

    • says

      You are so welcome! I feel especially with these vintage recipes, they risk being lost if not translated into the cyber world to be made and passed. It was a delicious recipe and if you like ginger (and pears) I feel sure you'll love it!

    • says

      Hi Pola! I made this on the spur of the moment so rather than making a crust from scratch I used Whole Foods Gluten Free pie crust they keep in the frozen section. I used the bottom crust 'as is' and thawed a second crust, rolled it out and used it for the top crust. Worked great. I do like making pie crust from scratch but often find a spontaneous project like this not allowing the time.

    • says

      I'm not sure I would have thought to do that either had I not come upon this vintage recipe. Seemed simple, unique and perfect for my spur of the moment desire to cook with some of the pears. Happy Pi day to you too! A coincidental posting on my part.

  4. says

    I'm think I'm in love with this. I adore pies … pastries. Pear and ginger sounds so perfect together and I've made some candied ginger as well. This weekend is going to be so good!

  5. says

    I have never made a pear pie before. There is definately a certain beauty to a rustic pie. The perfect looking pies look wrong to me. I think I will try some pear pie. I have a whole 50 lb case right now.

    • says

      I don't believe I possess the 'perfect pie' gene so won't be experiencing that soon! I ran into a reader today who was speaking about this pie and pie in general and we agreed there is a lack of pretense about pie that places it in its own genre. Pears were great on the pizza I made about a week ago too; might try that with some of your bounty!

    • says

      I'm not sure I had seen a pear pie either before making this. I covet vintage recipes and had pulled this aside to try sometime. Was so glad the pears arrived to do so. Thank you for your kind comment.

  6. says

    What a lovely pie for Pi Day! Ginger and pear is a delicious combination. I just got a great new book all about pies – Pie It Forward by Gesine Bullock-Prado. You should check it out. Great recipes and tutorials!

    • says

      It is actually coincidence I posted this on Pi day (maybe I should claim it as planful instead!) and I'm glad you liked it Mary Ellen! Gesine's work is incredible isn't it? I do need to check out her pie cookbook (though I'm sure will be more than humbled by it). I've had her Macarons which were fantastic. She is certainly a chef to be admired.

      I am graced to have known her mother and taste many of her delicious confections. I am sure the apple does not fall far from the tree. And a lovely tree it is.

  7. says

    Pear and ginger sound like a great combination for pie filling. I love this recipe and bookmarking it, so I can try it soon. Love your pictures too, by the way. Stunning!

  8. Cindy Padgett says

    Looks so yummy! I love ginger and pears, so i look forward to trying this. I have wondered about using a frozen pie shell in a pinch for the top crust. Now I know I can try it if I need to!


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