Apples and cinnamon. Lemon and meringue. Pear and vanilla—the new classic combo!
Sure, pear and vanilla is not quite a classic pair like the others. Not yet, anyway. The vanilla subtly enhances the delicate fruit, making it more complex without overpowering it. It’s a favorite of mine, particularly when made with a fresh vanilla bean.
And the crostata. Surely you can’t argue with a crostata—it’s such a go-to entertaining dessert, both for ease and sheer yumminess. Pie, without the fuss—now even easier with a ready-made Pillsbury pie crust
I like to put together the Pear Vanilla Crostatas
the morning of my dinner party, and just let them hang out in the fridge until dinner is underway. Then pop them in the oven just before dinner and take them out midway through, which gives them just enough time to set up before dessert.
To make the crostatas, first peel and chop your pears. Squeeze a little lemon juice over them so they don’t get too brown. Set aside.
Split a vanilla bean, spread it out and “smoodge” (yes, that’s a culinary term!) the paste out by dragging a knife or the back of spoon along the inside of the bean. It doesn’t look like a ton of vanilla, but it packs a bunch of flavor! (Two things: if you don’t go the vanilla bean route, a little vanilla extract will definitely do the trick. Another thing is that you can pop the used vanilla beans in a cup or so of sugar and after about a week, you’ll have vanilla sugar.)
Put the vanilla bean in the bowl containing the pears and mix it around with your hands until well incorporated. Mix the sugar and flour, sprinkle over the pears, and toss to combine.
Spread out the pie crusts on a Silpat
-lined baking sheet. (You can also use parchment paper.)
Mound the filling in the center of the pie crusts, leaving about two inches around the edges. Fold the crust up, pleating where necessary.
And, besides the baking, that’s all there is to it! Hope you enjoy a little vanilla with your pears!
More crostata recipes!