Prep time: 1 ½ hours, plus 2 ½ hours for dough to chill
For the pastry dough:
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup chilled vegetable shortening
- ½ cup ice water
- Put flour, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse several times to break up the butter.
- Add shortening. Turn on machine and pour in ice water and pulse several more times. Dough should be lumpy but still hold together when pressed in your hand.
- Working fast to keep the dough cool, turn it out onto a floured board, knead dough long enough to see it well-combined and form into one smooth piece of dough.
- Refrigerate in a plastic bag for two hours.
Note: This is more dough than you will need for a single 9-inch pie pan. However, if you use a spring form pan, as I did, and you want to push the dough up the sides of the pan, this will give you enough dough to do that.
For the poached pears:
- 6-8 Bosc pears, peeled and with stem left on
- 2 cups white wine
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 orange, the zest and juice
- 1 lemon, the zest and juice
- Peel pears. In a large, high-sided pan, mix white wine, water, sugar, orange and lemon juice, and zest.
- Submerge pears immediately in poaching liquid, to avoid discoloration.
- Simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and remove pears. Drain pears and return poaching liquid to a boil. Reduce liquid by half.
For the custard:
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup of the poaching liquid
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- Whisk custard ingredients together and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and press into the bottom and several inches up the sides of a greased, spring form pan.
- Fold down extra dough to make the sides of the pastry extra sturdy.
- Cover the pastry shell in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- When dough is chilled, remove plastic wrap, line pastry with foil, and fill with dried beans or pie weights.
- Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven.
- Allow pastry to cool. Stand the poached pears in the shell and pour the custard mixture around them.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the custard is firm.
Glaze for pears:
- ½ cup poaching liquid
- ½ cup apricot jam
- Mix poaching liquid and apricot jam together and cook on low heat until it thickens, about ten minutes.
- Brush glaze gently on to pears after baking. Serve.