Pear Pie with Pistachio Crumb Topping – Pie for Everyone by Petra Paredez, Petee’s Pies

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I was sent a copy of Pie for Everyone by Petra Paredez at no charge as part of my participation in the Abrams Dinner Party. I am very happy to share a recipe for pear pie that is slightly adapted from the book – mostly because I had bartlett pears instead of Asian pears. All opinions are my own.

Pie for Everyone

Table of Contents

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About Pie for Everyone:

Petra (Petee) Paredez shares her personal repertoire of impeccable baking techniques that have made her pie shops, Petee’s Pie Company and Petee’s Café, New York darlings. At the heart of it all, the goal is simple–a tender, ?aky crust and perfectly balanced ?lling–and this cookbook leads the way with easy-to-follow, step-by-step guidance. A champion of locally sourced ingredients, Paredez features some of the best farms and producers in pro?les throughout the book, inspiring us to seek out the very best ingredients for our pies wherever we may live. Filled with vibrant photography and recipes for just about every pie imaginable, from fruit and custard to cream and even savory, Pie for Everyone invites us to share in the magic and endless appeal of pie.

“Petra Paredez, a wizard with a rolling pin who founded Petee’s Pie Company in New York, has a method for sneaking more butter into pie dough than I thought possible. This produces the melting, tender deliciousness that those of us who admire Petee’s know well.”

–The 14 Best Cookbooks of Fall 2020, NY TIMES

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About the Author:

Petra (Petee) Paredez is the head baker and co-owner of Petee’s Pie Company. Consistently ranked as one of New York City’s best pie shops, Petee’s Pie Company opened in 2014 on the Lower East Side. Petee’s Café, which o?ers cocktails, natural wines, and more savory pie options, opened in Brooklyn in 2018.

My Opinion:

What is not to love about a cookbook all about pie? Just looking through the pictures is a joy even if you never bake a pie. But please, do bake a pie because really, is there a better dessert? Can you tell I love pie? This cookbook comes from the hearts and minds of the owners of a shop in New York called Petee’s Pie. I’ve never been there but I am sure I would love it because – PIE.

There are all manner of pie recipes in the book; fruit pies, custard pies, cream pies and quiches which are really just savory pies. There are a variety of toppings offered from crumb, pastry and whipped for the cream and custard. You could probably many favorite pies within its pages.

You will also find instructions for the best way to move a crust to your pie plate and how to roll your dough, make lattice and other pie tips. I remember the first time I went to make a pie my mother in law was all over me about how hard pie was and not to be disappointed when my pie sucked. Well, my pie didn’t suck and I just seem to have a way with pie. I am not sure as to her motivations (well maybe I am but …) but I have to admit that pie is my jam. Which is why I knew that 1 1/2lbs of pears was not going to be enough pears to fill my pie plate – it needed twice that many. I noticed that many of the recipes seem to be light on fruit amounts. This might prove frustrating to novice bakers. But other than bulking up on the amount of fruit in the recipes the flavors I found are very intriguing – as in the pie recipe I’ve shared below. This pear pie is super delicious and the pistachio crumb on top is outrageously good.

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pear pie

Pear Pie with Pistachio Crumb Topping

Serves 8 – 10

  • 3 TBS unsalted butter
  • 3 TBS maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 3 pounds pears, cored and thinly sliced. 
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS cornstarch
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest

Pie Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 TBS granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 TBS cold, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 – 3 TBS ice water (more if needed)

Pistachio Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TBS fine corn meal
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TBS all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cold, unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup pistachio nuts
  • 1/2 tsp salt

powdered sugar for dusting if desired

Make Pie Crust

  • Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
  • Using a pastry blender or two knives cut in the butter and shortening
  • Add 3 TBS of the ice water. Mix with a fork. If you need to add more water to get the dough to come together do so a teaspoon at a time. Do not over mix.
  • Gather the mixture into a ball, remove to a surface lightly dusted with flour and knead a few times to form a cohesive dough.
  • Form into a disc, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Dust your surface with a little bit of flour and roll the dough out so that it will fit a 9? pie dish
    Carefully remove the dough to the pie dish, trim and form a decorative edge.
  • Refrigerate for half an hour.
  • While the dough is cooling preheat the oven to 400°

make pear filling for pie

Make the Pie Filling

  • Core and peel the pears and slice them thinly.
  • In a light colored or stainless steel saucepan melt the butter. After the butter melts and starts to bubble, heat for 5 to 10 minutes more until the butter browns. When the butter is sufficiently browned, small chunks of toasty brown caramelized milk solids will have formed and the rest of the butter will have a deep, golden brown hue*. Remove from the heat and whisk in the maple syrup, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves.
  • Add in the pears and stir to coat.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt, making sure the cornstarch is evenly distributed.
  • Pour the mixture over the pears and gently stir to coat.
  • Add the lemon juice and orange zest and stir.

make the crumb topping for pear pie

Make the Crumb Topping

  • Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the butter pieces are no larger than a pea
  • Alternatively, mix by hand: add the dry ingredients to a bowl and stir. Add the butter and mix with your fingers, squeezing the butter between until it is dispersed.
  • Sprinkle the vanilla over the top and stir in.

make the pie

Make the Pie and Bake:

  • Pour the pear mixture in the pie crust making sure it is evenly distributed
  • Evenly distribute the crumb topping over the top of the pears.
  • Place the pie plate on a baking sheet to catch any drippings
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 375 and bake for another 40 minutes. The pie juices should be bubbling up through the crumbs in some places.

baked pear pie

  • Remove the pie to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
  • If desired dust with powdered sugar.
  • The pie will keep at room temperature for three days

slice of pear pie

How Was the Pear Pie?

The pear pie was downright awesome! The pears were still slightly firm as pears are wont to be which I loved. Sometimes you get a pie and it’s all mush. This pie has character. The topping is so very good; the cornmeal adds so much to it. It’s far better than the typical crumb topping. I’ll be playing with and using this little bit of knowledge going forward for many bits of baking. Just this alone was worth the cookbook. I think cornmeal is underused.

There are several other recipes I’m looking forward to trying from this cookbook. If you love pie or knows someone who loves pie this book would be an excellent addition to the cookbook library. It would also make a wonderful holiday gift.

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