Pears are at their peak in fall and winter, and this pie is a wonderful way to make practical use of the harvest. The pear’s subtle sweetness is enhanced with ginger and honey, and balanced with a buttery black walnut crumb topping.
December is National Pear Month, so here’s a great way to celebrate! This pie holds layers of thinly sliced pears that are sweetened with honey. A touch of ginger brings forth warm holiday flavor. Black walnut streusel gives the pie interesting flavor and crunch.
I’ve included a single pie crust recipe with the instructions, but if you’d like to make braids or other embellishments for the pie as I have, you’ll want to double it. This is optional, but a simple braid of dough around the pie’s edges is a beautiful touch and shows the care that goes into hand-made pies.
The braids are attached with egg wash, which is just an egg beaten with a tablespoon of water. This ensures that the braids stay put, and it also helps the pie crust bake to golden brown.
The pie filling is cooked on the stove top before it’s poured in the pie crust. Expect the mixture to be loose and pourable. This is normal.
The crumb mixture is a simple mixture of flour, ground ginger, brown sugar, butter, and black walnuts. I love the flavor of black walnuts, but they can be an acquired taste. English walnuts are a perfectly acceptable substitute if you’d prefer them.
The crumb topping is generous, so pile all of it on top of the pie evenly. As the pie bakes, the butter pieces melt and saturate the topping. It makes the most divine buttery, crumbly, streusel crust. I think we all can agree that butter makes everything better!
After the pie bakes, it will need to cool about an hour before slicing (if you can wait that long!). The filling will firm as it cools. You could also speed setting by chilling it in the refrigerator, but I recommend bringing the pie to room temperature before serving.