Sand Pear Pie

Happy Hump Day!

I made this pie a couple weeks ago with the sand pears I canned a bit back.

Sand Pears | Oysters & Pearls

Yup.  Those.

I can’t take much credit for this recipe at all, and fair warning: I didn’t have a pie crust shield, and my tin foil failed me, so I had burnt edges.  And, due to work and it getting dark so much earlier, all my pictures were taken at night.  So nothing impressive here today, folks.

But the pie was delicious, so I had to share.  If you’re in the market for following a gorgeous food blog with amazing recipes, check out Local Milk.

Sand Pear Pie Recipe  Oysters & Pearls

Sand Pear Pie with Buttermilk Lard Crust
only very slightly adapted from Local Milk

for the crust


– 2 1/2 cups (313 g) all purpose flour (divided in half)
– 2 Tbsp sugar
– 1 tsp kosher salt
– 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, diced
– 1/2 cup lard (you can substitute butter or vegetable shortening here) (113 grams lard)
– 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp buttermilk (108 grams)


Combine 1 1/4 cup (about 156 g) flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  With the mixer on low, add the diced cold butter and bits of cold lard a handful at a time. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Add other half of flour. Mix until just barely combined. Add the buttermilk and mix until dough just comes together. Divide the dough in half. Place each half on a piece of plastic wrap, form into a disc, and chill at least to two hours (preferably 3) and up to one day. Dough can be frozen, wrapped tightly, up to three months at this point.

I froze the dough and made this pie a couple weeks later.  It makes a thick, wet dough that is crazy sticky, but you can see the marbling of the lard throughout and it’s just gorgeous.  I think next time, I might increase the amount of sugar for a sweet pie,though.  It wasn’t very sweet at all.  She also suggests using this dough, sans sugar, for savory pies.  I will definitely be making it and using it again!

for the filling


– 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
– 2 cups canned sand pears, well drained (about 572 grams)
– 1/4 cup honey (I used some from Wheat’s aunt’s bees!)
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1 tablespoon cornstarch
– pinch cayenne pepper

– sugar, for sprinkling
– heavy cream, for brushing


Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Toast chopped pecans in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until just fragrant, then remove from the heat.  Be careful not to burn them.

Toss pears with sugar, salt, cayenne, cinnamon, and cornstarch.  Roll out one half of the crust to fit the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan.  Place dough in pan, trim the edge, tuck it under, and crimp.  I didn’t do this very well, as the dough is very tacky and I didn’t flour my counter well enough.  However, I salvaged it by dipping my finger in cold water and pressing any tears back together and using random pieces of dough to patch holes.

Fill the crust with the pear filling and sprinkle with toasted chopped pecans.  You can either use the other half of your dough to make a top crust, lattice, or leave it off.  I chose to be more economical and save the other half for another pie.  Do what feels right in your heart.  I did use some extra bits of dough and these Williams Sonoma crust presses to make some pretty little crust leaves to sit on top, which as least show you what this crust should have ended up looking like.

Whatever you end up doing, brush the final product with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce heat to 375 and bake another 30 to 40  minutes or until the crust is golden and the filling is cooked through.  Beth at Local Milk suggests using a pie crust shield after the first 15 minutes.  I attempted to make mine of aluminum foil, and obviously, my plan was foiled (ha!).

Cool on a wire rack and then enjoy.

Pears and Sugar and Spice for Sand Pear Pie Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Sand Pear Pie Filling | Oysters & Pearls

The canned sand pears were delicious alone, but with this mix of spices, and in this pie, the reason for their other moniker, “apple pear,” became extremely apparent.  It tasted SO much like apple pie!

Sand Pear Pie, Brushed with Cream and Dusted with Sugar Prior to Baking  Oysters & Pearls

Sand Pear Pie Brushed with Cream Prior to Baking | Oysters & Pearls

Leaves on Sand Pear Pie, Prior to Baking  Oysters & Pearls

Which Wheat was excited about, because apple pie is his favorite.  Maybe this should be called “Apple Pear Pie?”‘

I did immediately get on Amazon and purchase a new pie crust shield.  After much research, I decided on this one, due both to its many positive reviews, and its clever marketing. (<– affiliate link!)

Talisman Designs Pie Crust Shield

I also love that it’s completely adjustable for all sizes of pies.  Here’s to hoping that next time my crust is tan, not burnt!

Sand Pear Pie | Oysters & Pearls

Slice of Sand Pear Pie | Oysters & Pearls

Sand Pear Pie | Oysters & Pearls

A Slice of Sand Pear Pie  Oysters & Pearls

It was a deliciously seasonal dessert, but it would have been so much more delicious with some homemade vanilla ice cream!  Next time, for sure.

Now I’m trying to decide what cake to make for myself for my birthday/my dad’s birthday.  I’m leaning toward hummingbird cake!  I’ve been waiting for the right time to make it since I pulled it out of Southern Living this summer.  I’m thinking my own birthday is a pretty perfect occasion!  Any other suggestions?

Until Next Time

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7 thoughts on “Sand Pear Pie

  1. Jim McClellan

    You “misunderestimate” your impressiveness! Of course, I’m trying to cut back on desserts, so it might just be sugar withdrawals talking.

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