Brûléed Asian Pear and Chestnut Pie
For this recipe we like using Kamchun Asian pears, which are very sweet and have a slight nuttiness that complements the chestnuts well. Asian pears have a firm texture that holds up to heat and adds a textural element to the smooth filling. We like using an all butter homemade crust, but if you need to save time, a store-bought pie crust works just fine too. The last step calls for a brûlée torch, but you can also do this final step in your broiler if you don't have one.
3 medium sized (a little over 1 lb of fruit) Kamchun or other variety Asian pears
6 oz. of roasted and peeled chestnuts
⅓ cup half and half
⅔ cup corn syrup
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp butter, melted
2-3 Tbsp raw sugar
1 pie crust, either store bought or from your favorite recipe
Prebake your pie crust according to its instructions. After baking, set aside to cool.
Preheat your oven to 325F.
Peel and core all your Asian pears. Very thinly slice just one pear into half moon shapes and set aside. Finely chop the remaining two pears (¼”-cubes) and place in small bowl and set aside.
Place peeled chestnuts, half and half, corn syrup, nutmeg, and vanilla into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth by pulsing at first, and scraping down the sides as necessary. Place the chestnut puree mix in a large mixing bowl.
Using a whisk or fork, add the eggs and melted butter to the chestnut puree and mix until completely and evenly combined.
Add the chopped pears to the chestnut puree and mix until evenly combined.
Pour your chestnut and pear mix into the pie crust. Place the remaining pear slices on top of the chestnut mixture, arranging them in a circular pattern to evenly and completely cover the top of the pie.
Bake at 325F for 30 minutes. While baking, monitor the crust edges to make sure they don’t get too dark, covering the edges with foil if necessary. After baking, remove pie and cool completely (at least 2 hours up to overnight in the fridge)
Before serving sprinkle the sugar evenly over the tops of the pear slices. With a brûlée torch, evenly melt the sugar, remembering to move in small circles to prevent burning in one spot. If you don’t have a torch, cover the crust with foil and place in the broiler for 3-5 minutes, monitoring closely to make sure no spots get burned.
Serve immediately while sugar is still crunchy.