Chai Spice Pear Pie
The title says it all.
Chai Spice Pear Pie. Does your mouth not water at the sound of it? I stumbled upon this recipe by The Almond Eater while craving an insatiable amount of chai and had to test it out. Maybe it was just an excuse to eat pie, maybe it was just a grand idea; I certainly thought it was! Because there's never enough Masala Chai in this world, I made some adjustments to it to suit my fancy by infusing the almond milk with Masala Chai. And good news: it can be made vegan! In fact, it’s even supposed to be that way, but I love butter too much. Doesn’t mean that you can’t, though!
The wonderful thing about tea is that it can be so versatile! You don’t even need anything fancy to include it in meals--just find a creative way to incorporate it and voila! Instant betterness.
Prep time : 45 minutes || Cook time : 55 minutes || Total time : 1 hour 40 minutes
Serves one 9” pie
To start, you will need:
For pie crust-
-1 cup almond milk (¼ will be used for the crust)
-2 tbsp Organic Masala Chai
-3 cups all purpose flour
-1 tsp salt
-1 cup vegan butter at room temperature (which I substituted for regular butter)
-¼ maple syrup
-½ cup ice water
For the filling-
-5 pears, skinned and chopped
-2 tbsp coconut oil
-¼ raw cane sugar
-1 tsp cinnamon
-½ tsp ground ginger
-¼ tsp allspice, cardamom, and cloves
- Place the cup of milk and 2 tbsp Masala Chai in a microwave safe bowl, and heat it for 90 seconds, or until it is hot but not boiling. Another way to do this is to heat the milk and Chai over the stove over medium-high heat for approximately 2 minutes. Remove from microwave or stove, and cover with lid or a piece of foil for 12-15 minutes, until the milk is a caramel color and very fragrant. Pour the milk through a wire strainer into a cup or bowl. Set aside and cool the milk until it is room temperature. The extra ensures you will have enough milk for the recipe, and a little extra for your own personal use (I used mine for coffee accompanying the pie).
- Preheat oven to 400*
- Making the crust: combine flour and salt in a large bowl.
- Add butter and use your hands to mix it in with the flour. This took me about two minutes to fully break down the butter. You want the mixture to be crumbly.
- Add in the syrup and ¼ cup almond milk; stir to combine. Put extra almond milk in a storage container and place in refrigerator - it’s yours to keep!
- Lastly, add the water and stir. The dough will be a bit sticky, and that’s okay. Form dough into two separate balls, one a bit larger than the other, and place them in the refrigerator. Designate the biggest dough ball for your pie crust- you can add the leftovers to the smaller ball for decoration later.
- While dough is hardening, make the pear filling.
- Heat coconut oil in a large skillet and then add the chopped pears. Cook the pears until they are slightly soft, but be careful not to overcook them! I recommend 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
- While pears are cooking, add the sugar and chai spices to the skillet and stir so that the pears are coated with them; set skillet aside.
- Next, it’s time to roll out the dough. Flour a baking mat and place the larger ball of dough on it, being sure to coat the dough with additional flour as well.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough so that it’s in the general shape of a circle, making sure it’s at least 11” in diameter.
- Lightly line your 9” pie pan with coconut oil and then transfer the dough into the pie pan. The dough should hang off the edges a bit - that’s a good thing!
- Use your hands to press the dough into the pan, and then trim the edges and scallop them if you wish.
- Add the cooked pears to the pie pan and set aside.
- Next, it’s time to create the top layer for your pie. Roll out the second ball of dough (you can add the trimmings from the pie crust to the second set of dough now - that’s what I did!) so that it’s in the general shape of a rectangle.
- Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut dough into thin (approx. 1”) strips, and criss cross the strips over the top of the pear filling, being sure to secure the ends of them so they stay put. I’ve been taught to use the very last bit of dough and roll it out once more into a very thin line (cut into two pieces if necessary) and put it over top of the edges around the circumference of the pie. No crust left behind!
- Brush top dough with a bit of melted butter and sprinkle with cane sugar.
- Bake pie for approximately 40 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350* and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes, or until crust turns golden brown. I checked and removed mine at about 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from oven and wait until pie cools off before cutting a serving (some serious self restraint, which I do not have!).
- Enjoy (with or without coconut or cashew-based ice cream)!
Notes - The pie will be easier to cut and serve once it’s cooled off or been chilled in the refrigerator. It can be reheated in the oven or microwave.And so, there it is! I made myself a decaf latte with the extra almond milk, and enjoyed the spicy pie. The infused milk definitely gives the pie a spicy aftertaste, which is wonderful! I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did!