California Girl would be the first to tell you I am a bit odd, however, I am certain she would add “but in the loveliest way…” The Brit, being the gentleman he is, would never utter such a thing. I think my “oddness” may come from the way my brain works. Today was a perfect example.
California Girl comments: You can judge Miss April and her “oddness” after you read this post and more importantly taste this awesome pie. Just looking at these gorgeous pictures I want a great big piece! How about you?
I have one of those brains that are always going. I am thinking and planning and making lists in my head all of the time. It’s one of the reasons I often take a Benadryl to go to sleep! My brain won’t shut off! So, this is the sequence in my head as I am driving home from work in the pouring rain. It’s raining—> I should curl up on the couch and watch a movie when I get home—>what movie?—>maybe something romantic—>ooooh, “City of Angels” would be good—>that scene where Meg Ryan describes the way a pear tastes to Nicholas Cage was so sexy—>I love pears—>I wonder if the grocery store has pears now—>(pull into grocery store on the way home)—>Wow! pears! I will make pear custard when I get home! (Movie is forgotten). See, that is how my brain works. My thoughts fly all over the place. It drives my husband nuts because I actually do that in conversation as well. Personally, I think it is part of my charm.
For this elegant dessert, you are going to need a tart pan or a cast iron skillet. You could actually make it in a casserole dish, or an 8.5 x 11 pan, but it won’t look as lovely. The end result will be beautiful when you serve it on a dessert plate, regardless of what you cook it in, so don’t let the lack of a tart pan slow you down! When you taste it and decide to eat the whole thing right out of the pan by yourself, the presentation isn’t going to matter much anyway. (Not that I have ever done that…) Don’t use a pie pan, as the sloped sides do not work with this recipe.
One of the reasons I love this dish so much is that it is made in the blender. Seriously! No dishes! You just put all the ingredients, except the pears, in the blender and whir it up! It is so easy, yet the results are amazingly elegant! The second reason is that it is made with ingredients I have on hand all of the time! Basic ingredients that everyone has in their cupboard! I call it a Pear Custard Pie, but it really isn’t custard, and it really isn’t a pie. Call it what you want, but you are going to love this recipe!
California Girl comments: I decided that I would pair this pear custard pie with sparkling wine. Since we are doing affordable wines with these recipes but something you would serve to guests, I am going to suggest Jaume Christalino Brut Cava. You can buy it at Bevmo, Safeway, and World Market for under $10. I usually find it on sale for under $8. The reason I chose sparkling wine with this is that the creaminess and sweetness of the pie pairs perfectly with the dry, slightly yeasty flavor of the sparkling wine. It is also a bit festive and fancy to serve your guests.
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PEAR CUSTARD PIE
2-3 ripe (but still firm) pears. Do not use soft ones. Any variety will do!
1/4 cup melted butter (not margarine please, yuck!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar for garnish
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray your pan with nonstick cooking spray. If you are using a cast iron skillet, you will need to rub it down with shortening.
Put the melted butter, eggs, salt, sugar, milk, flour, and vanilla in the blender and blend it on low speed to mix it all up. Do this before you prepare the pears so that the pears don’t turn brown while you mix up the ingredients.
Peel, core, and slice the pears in to thin slices. Arrange them beautifully in your prepared pan. If you aren’t particular with how pretty it looks, you can just toss the darn things in the pan and let them fall where they may! Pour the mixture into the blender over the pears, and bake for 40 minutes.
Allow the pie to cool before serving and dust with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar! A dollop of whipped cream is delicious with it, or just enjoy right out of the pan!
Doesn’t it look beautiful? The guests that popped over shortly after this came out of the oven had no idea that it was so easy and went on and on about how I worked all day and then came home and whipped up this decadent dessert. (this is where you smile sweetly and thank them for the compliments).
It’s a good thing I made two pans of this. I served the round pan to my guests and family, but the heart shaped pan is mine….all mine. It’s still raining, so I think I am going to watch that movie after all and eat it right out of the pan.