Paleo Streusel Pear Pie with it’s sweetly spiced crumb topping is my favorite pie of all time – even better than chocolate cream pie, and that’s saying a lot. Because Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Cream Pie trump fruit pies for family gatherings, I don’t make Paleo Streusel Pear Pie that often. That’s totally okay with me because it actually saves me from eating the whole thing. I am kind of a sucker for streusel toppings and this one is bomb all the way.
I was first introduced to this pie during my young mom stay- at- home with our kids stage. A dear friend had dropped by with this confection – for no reason, and it was still warm – fresh out of the oven.
Surely she was thinking I would share with my family but, this Pear Pie was love at first bite and I ended up eating the whole thing all by myself. It made a lasting impression, and quickly became one of my favorites. This is an updated version of my Pear Crumble Pie; it has better ingredients, is refined sugar, dairy and grain free but in no way compromises on flavor and texture.
Pears are an unsung hero of fall and holiday desserts in that they offer a unique flavor, natural sweetness and are a softer fruit for baking when ripe. An added benefit to the ease of making this pie is that peeling isn’t necessary. In fact, I never peel them. Unlike apple peel, the outer skin melts in your mouth so the peel is hardly noticeable.
Lemon juice and zest are the secret ingredients that make the flavor sing in the filling. The almond meal crumb topping has layers of holiday spice complimenting the fruit filling. When I teach this in a pie class, it’s always a favorite.
The grain free pie crust delivers all you expect from a pie crust but without grain based flours. It’s flakey, has great flavor and holds together while rolling out and doesn’t crumble to pieces when cut to serve.
All you need is blanched almond flour, arrowroot powder, grass-fed unsalted butter, an egg and salt.
Thanksgiving is a few days away so just in case you want to make this pie for Thanksgiving, you can make the crust ahead and freeze it. Later in the week you can make the filling and topping and bake it in the morning of the day it’s served.
Here’s a step by step tutorial on how to make and roll out a grain free pie crust. To freeze an unbaked crust, just wrap well after lining pie pan and fluting the edge. Pop in your freezer until ready to use.
Here we go…
After mixing almond flour, arrowroot powder and sea salt together, grate frozen butter into dry mix. Or you can cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter.
Mix butter in with pastry cutter until it looks like small pea sized crumbs form. If you don’t have a pastry tool, use two knives.
Crack an egg in the center and mix into flours, adding a tablespoon of cold water if necessary.
Bring the dough together to form a ball. Wrap and chill or freeze.
Roll out according to recipe instructions below.
Peel the top piece of plastic wrap or wax paper off the top,
and flip it into the pan.
Peel wrap off the top. Trim around the edges, prick around the bottom with a fork, and flute edges.
It’s time to fill with this aromatic yummy filling.
Crumble on the streusel topping….
This crust serves up beautifully and the soft pear filling, seasoned with a hint of lemon is complimented by the crunchy streusel topping. I love it still a bit warm. I mean it sends you…somewhere good. Amazing my friends.
I hope you give this simple pie a try for your Thanksgiving feast. It’s incredibly delicious, a nice change of pace from the traditional Pumpkin Pie, and makes your house smell divine while baking.
Thankful for YOU,
Paleo Streusel Pear Pie (makes 1/ 9 inch pie)
1 cup blanched almond flour (packed)
1 cup arrowroot powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 – 5 tablespoons cold unsalted grass-fed butter
1 large egg
2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 cups sliced Bartlett pears, skin on (about 3 1/2 pears)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pie crust: In a medium bowl whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot and sea salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter until pea sized crumbs form. Crack the egg into the middle of the mixture, and stirring with a fork combine well. Continue to knead a few times until the mixture forms a ball. If dough seems a little dry, add about a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half of water to the dough.
Form a ball with the dough and press down to form a disc.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 – 2 hours, or in your freezer for 20 minutes. Make filling and topping while dough chills.
For the filling, toss sliced pears with coconut sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, and arrowroot powder. Set aside.
Topping: combine the almond flour, salt and spices in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together oil and maple syrup. Stir wet ingredients into dry. Mix with hands to coat flour mixture so it’s well blended and crumbly. Set aside.
To Roll out crust…Dampen your counter top with a little bit of water. Stretch a 20 – 24 inch long piece of plastic wrap on the damp surface. Place ball of dough in the center. I like to press it somewhat flat and form a circle first. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top. Roll dough out into an even smooth surface about 1/8 inch thick and large enough to accommodate your pie pan.
Peel off top layer to reveal the pie crust. Lift an edge of the bottom plastic wrap, and by placing your other hand under the wrap, lift the whole sheet of rolled dough using the bottom plastic sheet to hold everything together, carefully flip over into pie pan. Gently press into pan, prick the bottom of the crust a few times with a fork. Trim and flute edges for a single crust.
Fill unbaked pie shell with pear filling. Crumble topping over pears. Bake covered with foil for 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10- 20 minutes or until topping is browned and filling bubbles. Serve plain or with dairy or coconut whipped cream. Yum!!