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Mini Pear Pies
  • 2 1/2 Cups Unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 Cups Cake flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 1/4 Cups Very cold water
  • 1 Lb Unsalted butter, very cold
  • 6 Large, firm pears
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 18 Fl oz. Dry white wine
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Orange, zest only
Combine flours, and salt into a food processor. If your food processor will not hold all ingredients make the dough in two batches and combine. Pulse the food processor until flours and salt are just combined. Add all water into the processor and pulse until a ball of dough forms. The dough should feel moist and when squeezed should hold together. Remove the dough and form it into a ball. Wrap the dough in a damp towel and refrigerate for at least 5 minutes. While dough is chilling, place butter between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Beat the butter with a rolling pin until it flattens into a square that is about 1 inch thick. The butter needs to remain cold, so if you notice softening or oiliness forming, place in refrigerator or freezer and allow the butter to chill before continuing. Unwrap your dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 10-inch square. Place the chilled butter in the center. Fold and stretch the dough to fully encase the butter inside the dough. (Remember it is important for this dough to stay cold. To keep your dough cold you can stop at any point, cover the dough in plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator.) Roll the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 24 inches long. Fold this rectangle by thirds, like you would fold a letter. Rotate the folded dough to the left so that the closed fold is on your left. Repeat the process of rolling out a 24-inch rectangle, folding it in thirds and rotating it. I chilled my dough after this second time for 30 minutes. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out 4 more times, chilling when needed. Chill pastry dough for at least an hour. Peel the pears, keeping the stems intact. Combine 14fl oz water, the white wine, cinnamon, orange zest, and sugar, slowly bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for three minutes. Add the pears to the pan. Bring back to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Reserving the syrup, remove the pears from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool on kitchen paper. Using a melon baller or small teaspoon remove the core from the pears. Return the syrup to the heat and boil rapidly for 10-15 minutes until the volume of the liquid is reduced by half and the syrup is thick. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Chill the poached pears until cold. Preheat the oven to 400F. Using a sharp knife and a ruler cut the pastry into long strips ½ inch wide. You will need about 18-20 strips.Brush the pears with the cooled sugar syrup and starting from the bottom, wrap the pastry strips around the pears. When you come to the end of the pastry strip, brush the end lightly with syrup and press to adhere to the next pastry strip. Continue wrapping until you reach the top of the pear. (Three strips should cover each pear). Tuck the end of the last pastry piece behind the previous dough spiral. Place the pastry-covered pears on a baking tray. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes.Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes then serve with a drizzle of the reduced sugar syrup.
Provided by:
Lisa Kaschmitter, recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student

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