Pear-Fig-Walnut Pie

1 Make 9-inch pie

The finished pie is golden brown and especially crisp, thanks to a sprinkling of sugar. Filled with pears, figs, and nuts, it's traditional yet surprising.


  • ¾ cup Madeira wine

  • 5 ounces soft, dried black Mission figs (scant ⅔ cup), stemmed and quartered

  • 3 whole star anise

  • Perfect Pate Brisee

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting

  • 3 pounds ripe Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch-thick wedges

  • 3 ounces walnuts, broken into small pieces (about ¾ cup), toasted and cooled

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • ½ cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling (or use sanding sugar)

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in the lower third. Bring wine, figs, and star anise to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until figs are softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer figs to a large bowl. Cook mixture in pan over medium-high heat until reduced to a syrup, about 3 minutes; discard star anise. Pour syrup over figs.

  2. Meanwhile, roll out 1 disk dough on floured parchment to make a 13-inch circle; start with pressure in center and ease up just before reaching edges. Drape dough over rolling pin; center over a 9-inch glass pie plate, and unroll. Gently push into the plate. Trim to leave a 1/4-inch overhang; refrigerate. Roll out second disk. Cut out vent with a cookie cutter, and refrigerate cutout.

  3. Add pears, nuts, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and cornstarch to figs; stir until well combined. Spoon into pie plate (pile high in center). Dot with butter; lightly brush rim of dough with water. Drape second disk over pin; center over filling. Gently press around filling to fit; trim to leave a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold edge of top crust under bottom one; crimp to seal. Brush water on bottom of cutout; press onto top crust. Beat yolk with cream; brush over crust. Sprinkle with sugar; freeze until very firm, about 30 minutes.

  4. Bake on a baking sheet until just golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake, rotating halfway through, until bubbling, and bottom crust is deep golden brown, about 1 hour. (If edges brown too quickly, cover with a foil ring.) Let cool.

Related Articles