Pear and fruit pie with mascarpone
I seem to be having an affair of the heart with pears this winter, tossing them through salads with fennel and smoked fish, poaching them in red wine with a handful of basil leaves and a few black peppercorns, or thinly slicing them to cover a pastry base - a version of a French apple tart. I like the idea of a pear pie as well, and not just for the alliteration it offers. When pulled from the oven, the ripe pears, mixed with dried fruits and baked under a golden crust, have a Christmas-like smell, and when cold mascarpone hits this hot pie, something more than a little appealing happens.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Soak the dried figs in water for an hour, then drain and slice them into strips.
- Mix all the dried fruits, including the figs, in a bowl, then stir in the sugar and juice of the orange. Leave for an hour.
- Peel and core the pears, chop into small chunks and toss through the fruit mixture.
- Meanwhile, roll out half the pastry and line a greased 22cm pie dish.
- Drain the fruit through a sieve, pressing down on it to force out as much liquid as possible, then spread the fruit across the pie base.
- Roll out the remaining pastry, then cut it into 1cm-wide strips and arrange in a lattice pattern over the fruit. Glaze the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle with a little extra brown sugar.
- Place the pie on a flat baking sheet and slide it into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling gently.
- Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving with spoonfuls of mascarpone.