Pear and Fruit Pie with Mascarpone
I seem to be having an affair of the heart with pears this winter, tossing them through salads with fennel and smoked fish, poaching them in red wine with a handful of basil leaves and a few black peppercorns, or thinly slicing them to cover a pastry base - a version of a French apple tart. I like the idea of a pear pie as well, and not just for the alliteration it offers. When pulled from the oven, the ripe pears, mixed with dried fruits and baked under a golden crust, have a Christmas-like smell, and when cold mascarpone hits this hot pie, something more than a little appealing happens.
|125 g||Dried figs|
|2 tbsp||Brown sugar|
|300 g||Shortcrust pastry|
|1||Egg, and a little brown sugar to finish|
- Preheat the oven to 180 degC. Soak the dried figs in water for an hour, then drain and slice them into strips. Mix all the dried fruits, including the figs, in a bowl, then stir in the sugar and juice of the orange. Leave for an hour.
- Peel and core the pears, chop into small chunks and toss through the fruit mixture. Meanwhile, roll out half the pastry and line a greased 22cm pie dish. Drain the fruit through a sieve, pressing down on it to force out as much liquid as possible, then spread the fruit across the pie base.
- Roll out the remaining pastry, then cut it into 1cm-wide strips and arrange in a lattice pattern over the fruit. Glaze the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle with a little extra brown sugar. Place the pie on a flat baking sheet and slide it into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling gently. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving with spoonfuls of mascarpone.