This Apple Pear Pie makes for an incredible dessert for Fall. It's made with slices of sweet apples and pears mixed with warming spices and baked in an all-butter pie crust. It's the ultimate cosy twist on the American classic. Perfect for sharing on Thanksgiving or at your next Holiday gathering!
We've said goodbye to summer, and it's time to jump headlong into Fall Baking. And that means baking plenty of Pies & Tarts. My Caramel Apple Tart from my cookbook and my Pear Almond Cream Tart are favourites at home at this time of year.
This Apple Pear Pie celebrates apples and pears in all their glory. The delicate flavour of pears compliments the sweetness of apples perfectly. With seasonal spices mixed through, the filling is deliriously good, baked to perfection in the flaky all-butter pastry.
The dough is crazy simple to make in a food processor, but don't worry I also share how to make it by hand. I find making any type of dough, such as this all-butter pastry, sweet shortcrust pastry, sablée dough and choux pastry, so therapeutic. Is that just me?!
⭐ Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Uses basic ingredients. All the ingredients are basic pantry or fridge staples. Use up all those pears and apples on the countertop in this incredible pie.
- Family favourite. Everyone always loves an Apple and Pear Pie. From the sweet juicy filling to the golden, flaky pie crust, kids and adults adore this.
- Simple to make. Don't be intimidated by making a pie. If this is your first time, it's made of two components, pastry and fruit filling. Both come together quickly, and I have many process images to show you how to assemble the two.
- Way better than storebought. I mean, you seriously won't buy another pie from the store again. Homemade Pear Apple Pie is a game-changer!
- It makes a perfect Holiday pie. A Thanksgiving table or Christmas table isn't complete without a pie making this pie must this season.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
Whilst the list of ingredients isn't huge, it's worth having a read of some notes regarding them.
- Flour - Use plain (all-purpose) flour for the pie crust.
- Butter - The key to a successful pie crust is using cold butter. Cut it into cubes and pop it back into the refrigerator whilst prepping the other ingredients. Also, I prefer unsalted butter.
- Salt - Without the salt, the pastry will taste bland. Omit it, though, if using salted butter.
- Water - Ice-cold water is best. Pop a couple of ice cubes into the water before making the dough.
Apple Pear Pie Filling
- Spices - Cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg are all you need. You can use pre-bought Apple Pie Spice if you have it available.
- Brown sugar - The caramel undertones from the molasses in the brown sugar melt into the fruit filling. The taste is unreal. Substitute for light brown sugar or white sugar (except this will alter the depth of flavour that brown sugar brings).
- Cornflour - a thickening agent is absolutely necessary if you don't want to cut into your pie and a deluge of juice rush out. There's nothing more disheartening after all that effort. The cornflour activates with the warm juices from the fruit and thickens it up. Substitute 1:1 for flour.
What type of apple is best to use?
You can use any of your favourite apples. I like to use a combination of Braeburn as they hold their shape once baked and Granny Smith for their tartness. But Lady Red, Honey Crisp, Jonagold and Gala apples are also great.
What type of pear is best to use?
I've used Conference pears in this recipe. Other varieties that you can use include Bosc, d'Anjou, Concord and Bartlett pears. Make sure when buying them that they are firm. If too ripe and soft, they turn to mush and won't hold their shape with the length of time the pie bakes.
- Cranberry Apple Pear Pie: Throw in some fresh or frozen cranberries into the fruit filling for real pops of seasonal flavour!
- Caramel Apple Pear Pie: Caramel just screams fall baking! Make a jar of my Salted Caramel Sauce (it's easy to make and lasts for ages!) Spoon a half cup of cooled sauce into the fruit filling. It'll make a memorable pie!
- Apple Pear Crumble Pie: Combine pie and crumble to make this spectacular dessert. Use a half portion of the dough for the pie crust. Then make a half portion of crumble from my Peach Crumble Bars. Sprinkle it over and bake. Tip, serve with custard!
- Change up the pie base or top: Don't have time to make the homemade pastry? No problem, go for store-bought. Or switch it up by using puff pastry on top for a flaky texture. Alternatively, make a graham cracker crust instead. Whichever variation, it'll still taste amazing.
👩🏻🍳 How to Make Apple and Pear Pie
Let's dive into making this delicious dessert with pears and apples. You'll need a food processor as it makes making the dough a synch. Plus, you'll need a 23cm x 4cm (9-in x 1.5-in) pie pan to bake the pie in. I was given this USA Pie Pan by a friend, and it's unbelievable to bake with. I use it all the time to bake pies.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
Make the Pie Crust
The ultimate key to success when making any shortcrust pastry is to keep the ingredients cold and not overwork the dough. Keep these two pointers in mind when making your dough.
STEP 1. Process the butter with flour. Add the salt into the flour and give it a quick mix, then add the flour into the bowl of a food processor. Add in the cold, cubed butter and pulse until butter cubes have reduced to the size of peas (Images 1 & 2).
STEP 2. Add water to form a dough. Add in ⅓ of the water and pulse until the dough looks less dry. Now add a little at a time until you've used ¾ of the water (Image 3). You probably won't need the full 125ml - so it's best to add it sparingly.
Making the dough is very much by feel and look. It may look dry, but if you can squeeze the dough and it clumps together, then you are almost there. Keep adding a bit at a time until it clumps together (Image 4).
STEP 3. Bring the dough together and refrigerate. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and use your hands to squeeze the dough together (Image 5). If it feels a bit dry, add small amounts of the iced water - sometimes, all it takes is a couple of flicks.
Once in a very rough disc (Image 6), divide the disc into two for the top and the bottom of the pie (Image 7). It's far easier to roll out individual discs than one huge one. Form them into discs, and wrap them in plastic wrap, smoothing out any cracks (Image 8). Refrigerate for 1-hour minimum or overnight.
Make the Pie Filling
STEP 4. Toss the fruit in lemon juice. To prevent the apples and pears from browning, toss them in the lemon juice once sliced. Also, add in the lemon zest and vanilla extract (Image 9).
STEP 5. Mix the dry ingredients with the fruit. It's best to mix the spices and flours into the brown sugar first and then add them to the sliced fruit (Images 10 & 11). This prevents any of the dry ingredients from clumping. Toss the apple and pear slices until fully coated (Image 12).
Assemble the Pie
STEP 6. Roll the base and place it in the pan. Remove both discs of dough from the fridge - if solid, then leave them at room temperature for ten minutes or so. Roll it out to approx 30cm (12 inches) in diameter (look at those gorgeous buttery swirls!). Lay the dough in the pie pan and press it in without stretching it (Images 13 & 14). Trim the edges to a half inch larger than the rim (Image 15). Brush the base with egg wash to form a moisture barrier from the juices (Image 16).
STEP 7. Add fruit filling to the pie pan. Instead of just tipping the fruit into the pie base, take a minute to ensure the slices are laying flat and tucked well together (Image 17). Create a slight mound in the centre of the dish. It all helps with how the top piece of pastry lies over the fruit once baked. Dot the butter over the filling.
STEP 8. Top with pastry and bake! Roll out the second disc until 30cm (12-inches) and carefully lift it over the fruit. Trim the edges, reserving any dough scraps for decoration (optional).
Press the two pieces together around the edge and tuck the top piece under the bottom around the edge. Using your finger and thumb, crimp the edge (Image 18).
A key step here is to refrigerate the pie for 20 minutes while preheating the one. Rolling and working the dough will soften the butter. A blast in the fridge allows it to chill and firm up again, which will help with the flaky layers and avoid shrinkage.
Brush the top with egg wash (Image 19), and sprinkle with raw sugar (Image 20). Cut some vent holes - essential to let out steam (Image 21 below). Then bake for 50-60 minutes.
The pastry should be a deep golden brown and the filling bubbling away (Image 22).
🥧 How To Serve
The smell of an Apple Pear Pie is absolutely intoxicating. It's best to leave it for 20 minutes before serving. It gets piping hot inside, and the wait time means you won't burn the roof of your mouth!!
Let it cool completely, and the filling will thicken and set if you want to cut nice clean slices.
Great serving choices are whipped cream, Chantilly Cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of custard. Growing up in a boarding school - my all-time favourite school dessert was a slice of pie with custard!)
To reheat the pie, pre-heat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF. Place pie or pie slices on a parchment paper-lined baking tray and bake for 15 minutes until warmed through.
💭 Recipe Pro Tips
- The butter and water must be cold to ensure the ultimate flaky pie crust.
- Don't overwork the dough when bringing it together. This just activates the gluten and creates rubbery pastry.
- Slice rather than cube the apples and pears. This allows them to sit tighter together in the pie dish and creates a more even surface for the top pie crust to sit on.
- Make sure to egg wash the pastry top, this gives the pastry a nice golden sheen and a crispy top. The raw sugar adds the perfect crunch!
- Protect the pie from burning by creating a foil tent over the top if you see the pie browning too quickly.
- Don't be afraid to bake the pie until it is a deep golden brown. This is the only way to ensure the bottom of the pie is properly baked. We don't want a soggy bottom!
📋 Recipe FAQs
There's no need to add this extra step. Cutting the pears and apples into slices rather than cubes, they will cook and soften during the baking time. Let's keep this pie-making as easy as possible.
Absolutely! As long as you have the same quantity of fruit, you can play around the balance of pears to apples.
With any dough, this rest in the fridge is essential to allow the gluten activated whilst making the dough have a chance to relax. This will, in turn, lead to a more tender, flaky pie crust and prevent it from shrinking.
It's totally up to you. If you prefer to leave the skin on, perhaps for the nutritional benefits, then you don't need to peel. If you prefer to peel the fruit, then go for it!
To make the dough by hand, mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Add cold butter and rubber between fingertips until butter is the size of large peas. Add ½ the cold water and use your hands to bring the dough together. Add more sparingly until the dough starts to clump. Turn out onto the countertop and continue on with the recipe.
❄️ Storage and Freezer Instructions
To store: Wrap cooled pie in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat in a low oven until warm.
To freeze: Both the raw all-butter dough and apple pie filling can be frozen separately then thawed in the refrigerator over night.
- The Dough: Wrap the dough discs well in plastic wrap. Place in a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- The Apple Pear Pie Filling. Toss the fruit with the other filling ingredients. Pour the filling into an airtight, freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Unbaked Pie. Fill and assemble the pie, then wrap the pie pan well with plastic wrap and place it in a ziplock freezer bag. Freeze the pie for up to 2 months. Bake right from frozen in a 180C/350F oven. You'll need to add extra bake time.
- Baked Pie. Cool pie completely, then place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden it slightly. Double-wrap it with plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, unwrap the pie, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake from frozen in a 180ºC / 350ºF oven. Add extra bake time.
🍂 More Fall Recipes You'll Love
If you tried this Apple Pear Pie Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you go in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a ⭐ star rating whilst you're there!
Spiced Apple Pear Pie Recipe
- Food processor See notes if you don't have one.
- Pie pan 23cm x 4cm (9-in x 1.5-in)
All-Butter Pie Crust
- 440 g plain flour (all-purpose)
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 230 g unsalted butter, chopped into small cubes
- 80-120 ml ice cold water
Apple Pear Filling
- 450 g apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- 450 g pears, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 110 g brown sugar
- 32 g cornflour (corn starch)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste
- 1 egg for egg wash, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar, raw or demerara sugar (optional)
Make the pie dough
- Process the butter with flour. Add the salt to the flour and stir. Add flour to the bowl of a food processor and pulse in short bursts until the butter is broken into smaller pieces, slightly larger than a pea.
- Add water to form a dough. Slowly begin to add ⅓ water and then, while still pouring, run the food processor until ¾ of the water has been added, and the mixture begins to come together and clump. Stop processing at this stage. It's ok to have dry bits.
- Bring the dough together and refrigerate. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and bring it together with your hands until it forms a rough disc. Splash with a little water if more moisture is needed. Divide the dough in two and form each into equal discs. Wrap each one well in plastic wrap and smooth with your fingertips. Refrigerate for 1-hour minimum or overnight.
Make the pie filling
- Toss the fruit in lemon juice. In a large bowl, toss the apple and pear slices with the lemon zest, juice and vanilla extract. Mix the dry ingredients with the fruit. In a separate bowl, add the brown sugar, cornflour, spices and salt and mix. Add brown sugar mixture in with the fruit and toss until the fruit slices are fully coated.
Assemble the pie
- Roll the base and place it in the pan. Remove dough discs from the fridge. Roll out dough until 30cm (12in) diameter; place in a pie plate. Press to fit without stretching dough; trim edges until even with pie plate.
- Add fruit filling to the pie pan. Brush the base of the pie with egg wash to for a barrier against the moisture. Lay the spiced apple and pear slices into the pie base. Lay them flat and fit them in snugly. Create a mound in the centre with the fruit. Dot the butter over the fruit.
- Top with pastry. Roll the second disc into another 30cm (12in) circle. Place onto filled pie and trim 1cm (½ in) beyond the edge and fold under the bottom crust edge pressing to seal.Crimp and flute edges. Refrigerate pie for 20 minutes whilst the oven preheats to 220°C (440°F). Brush pie top with eggwash and cut slits in the dough for air vents then sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Bake. Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F). Bake for 50-60 minutes until the crust is deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling. If the pie edges start to brown too quickly, tent the pie in foil and continue to bake.Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes before serving warm. Or leave it cool completely. Serve with ice cream or cream.
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.