We're lucky enough to have a baby pear tree in our backyard (the pears are baby-sized, not the tree). The tree itself is huge, and I love it! It must love me too, because it's sharing lots of fruit these days.
I had been wanting to bake something that highlights how delightful these baby pears are, but had been feeling especially indecisive. Enter twitter. One of the many reasons I love twitter is that it's an ideal resource for situations when I can't decide what to cook or bake, or don't know what I'm doing and need to send out an SOS (which is pretty much always). My online foodie friends will always be there with a slew of great suggestions. This one's from Heather, who responded to my query about what to make with my pear surplus, and I thank her muchly because it was divine!
It turned out to be more like a custardy oven pancake or clafoutis than a pie, which is why I've changed the name of the recipe to "Pie" instead of just plain Pie. No matter what you call it, though, this couldn't be easier to throw together (the hardest part by far was peeling and coring the pears), and couldn't be tastier either. Perfect for breakfast OR dessert!
This is also my entry for this month's Grow Your Own, hosted by Andrea at Andrea's Recipes, the venerable founder of GYO! Congrats Andrea on 2 successful years, I'm so glad to be a participant.
Pear Custard "Pie"
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Great Food Fast
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
3 ripe but firm Comice or Bartlett pears, peeled, halved, and cored (Amy's note: I used 6 of our tiny pears)
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
Confectioners' sugar for dusting (Amy's note: forgot that, oops!)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch pie dish with baking spray or butter. Slice the pears 1/4 inch thick lengthwise. Arrange the slices in the dish.
2. In a blender or food processor, process remaining ingredients (except confectioners' sugar) until smooth.
3. Pour the batter over the pears; bake until golden and firm to the touch, 40-45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar.