Few things are as delicious as a homemade fresh custard pear pie. In this recipe, fresh (or canned pears) are prepared in a homemade custard filling and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar before baking.
I had never heard of a custard pear pie until my sister-n-law made one for dessert. While this pear pie combines almonds and raspberries, the recipe I’m sharing with you today is a simpler recipe for pears. This pie can be made with fresh pears or with good quality canned pears which is what I’m using today – since it’s winter.
Canned Pears vs. Fresh Pears
In this recipe, you can use either. I have tried both with equally great results. While canned pears are softer, I make up for that by cutting fresh pears a bit smaller before baking. If using canned pears, makes sure to get good quality canned pears that are cut in halves to make it easier to customize how you would prefer with this pie.
Key Ingredients for Custard Pear Pie Recipe
- Fresh or Canned Pears: For this recipe, I used Bartlett pears from a reputable company that specializes in canned fruit to make sure they were high quality. The quality of your pears will directly impact the flavor and texture of this pie. You can also use anjou pears or bosc pears.
- Evaporated Milk: This type of milk has a more caramelized flavor because 60% of the water from traditional milk has been removed. Don’t skip this ingredient. Also, make sure only to use one cup, as the canned evaporated milk comes in a larger quantity.
- Unbaked Pie Crust: The best pies are made with homemade pie crusts. There is no substitute! If you’re intimidated by homemade pie, don’t be.
How to Make Pear Pie
- Pie Shell: Make your pie dough and press it into a pie pan. (Here are my step-by-step instructions on how to make a pie crust.)
- Pear Pie Filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and sugar. Mix in evaporated milk and lemon juice until smooth. Add pears and mix until well incorporated.
- Prep for Baking: Add pie filling mixture to unbaked pie crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
- Bake: Bake at 400˚ F for 45 to 50 minutes.
- Let Cool: This pie will need to cool for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the pie to set.
In this recipe, I used Bartlett pears (red or green). However, Anjou pears (red or green) and Bosc pears will also give you a good pear texture after baking.
I highly recommend investing in a good pie shield like this one. I add it about halfway through the baking process. This helps to keep the outer crust from burning while the rest of the pie bakes.
Keep an eye on your pie, as each oven is unique. I typically set my timer to 10 minutes before the end of bake time and check it. You’ll know your pie is done when the bottom of the crust is a nice golden brown.
Pies do best when they have plenty of time to cool. For this custard pear pie, I recommend waiting at least two hours before slicing.
After slicing into the pie and the pie is completely cool from the oven, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
When you first pour the pie filling into your pie shell, you will want to spread the pie filling around, so the pears are evenly distributed. Do this carefully, as overflowing the filling will lead to it burning around the edges.
Custard Pear Pie
- 1 9 inch unbaked pie crust
- 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
- 1 Cup evaporated milk
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 16 oz fresh or canned pears drained
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- Prep: Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Make pie dough and press into pie plate.
- Pie Filling: In a large bowl, whisk together flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Add evaporated milk and lemon juice. Whisk together until creamy. Gently fold in pears.
- Assemble: Pour pear filling into unbaked pie shell. Sprinkle with cinnamon and 1 Tablespoon of sugar.
- Bake: Bake at 400˚ for 45-50 minutes. Let cool for 2 hours before serving.