Chocolate Buckwheat Pear Pie

Chocolate Buckwheat Pear Pie | BAKED the blog

We’re one day away from our 1 year anniversary here at BAKED and I made you guys a celebratory pie! Can you believe that it took us a whole year to get a good ol’fashioned lattice up on here?

Pear Tree

I recently picked some pears from a neighbourhood tree with Not Far From the Tree (Toronto peeps, check them out!) and it was no ordinary pick. Our gang picked over 350lbs from one tree in less than two hours and I got to take home almost 30lbs of these sweet little pears to eat and make pie with.

Chocolate Buckwheat Pear Pie | BAKED the blog

This pie is a rustic treat, with it’s cracking crust, oozing fruit, lots of patch work, and a final result that asked not to be photographed after being sliced. Aesthetics aside, it was a joy to eat warm, with a scoop of ice cream.

Chocolate Buckwheat Pear Pie

Chocolate Buckwheat Pear Pie | BAKED the blog

Chocolate Buckwheat Pear Pie
Serves: 8

Print Recipe Here

Ingredients

Chocolate Buckwheat Pie Crust (see notes for scaling recommendation)

½ cup of butter
½ cup buckwheat flour
¼ cup cacao powder
½ cup light spelt or unbleached all-purpose flour + more for rolling the dough
2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 – 4 Tbsp. ice water

Pear Filling
3 lbs of ripe but firm pears (see notes for pear varieties)
2 Tbsp. butter
⅓ cup of maple syrup
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Cut the butter into small cubes and place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the pears.

Core and quarter the pears. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add maple syrup and pears, then bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, lower heat to medium-low, cover pot, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the pears are soft, stirring every few minutes to prevent scorching.

While the pears are cooking, add all the dry pie ingredients (flours, cacao, sugar, and salt) to the food processor and pulse to combine. Add frozen butter cubes and pulse until crumbly. With the food processor on, slowly add ice water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until a dough mass just starts to form. Give it a few seconds between each addition, as it sometimes takes a little while to come together and go slow after 2 Tbsp., it shouldn’t take much more than that. Once the dough starts coming together, stop the food processor and empty it out on a floured surface. The dough should still be crumbly but hold together when squeezed with your hand. Knead it together until a smooth ball forms. Cut it into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other, wrap in plastic and refrigerate while finishing the pear filling.

Once the pears are cooked, remove them from the liquid with a slotted spoon. Increase the heat to medium and continue simmering the liquid until it thickens and resemble a syrup. Once thickened, add the pears back to the pot along with lemon juice and vanilla and toss everything together. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Starting with the larger dough ball, roll it out on a well-floured surface until it’s large enough to cover a 9” pie dish.  Gently fold the crust over in half, slide in the pie dish, and unfold it to fit into the dish. Don’t worry if it breaks or cracks, it patches back together quite easily.

Pour the filling into the crust lined dish and arrange the pears evenly.

Roll out the smaller dough ball, until it’s about 10 inches in diameter, then slice into 10 strips. Starting with the longest strips in the middle, start arranging them in a lattice on top of the pie (see notes for step-by-step link). Trim any excess dough and pinch around the edge to hold the dough together.

Bake for about 45 minutes until the crust is cooked through.

Cool slightly before digging in.

Notes:

- The crust recipe makes *just* enough for a 9” pie dish that is 1” deep. If you’re using a slightly bigger pie dish or would like a little more wiggle room with the crust, I suggest scaling up a little bit (i.e. ¾ cup each of butter and flours, 6Tbsp. cacao, ¾ tsp. of salt, 3 Tbsp. of sugar, and 3 – 6 Tbsp. of water)

- Results may vary depending on the variety of pears used. I don’t know the name of mine, but they resembled firm Anjou pears. I imagine that the pie would be even more delicious with ripe Bosc or Bartlett pears, as those are better for baking, but I have yet to try them in this recipe. If you’re using larger pears, remember to cut them accordingly.

Here’s how to arrange a lattice crust. Thanks, Simply Recipes!

Summer Chili Cornbread Cobbler

Summer Chili Cornbread Cobbler | baked-theblog.com

Peaches and Tomatoes are in! You guys know what that means? It’s summer chili cobbler time!

I usually associate chili with pure fall/winter fare, but a recent craving for chili in the dead of summer had me dreaming of a summer version. The chili base is made with fresh tomatoes (vs canned) and a has few fresh peaches tossed in to really bring the summer game. And we all know it’s cobbler season…and it’s BAKED the blog, so chili cobbler is the answer!

San Marzano Tomatoes

I used a combination of San Marzano and Opalka tomatoes, both plum-shaped and considered to be “paste” tomatoes, ideal for cooking and canning. The flavour of these tomatoes is through the roof, but the texture is so-so for fresh eating. They’re thick-walled, and not as juicy as typical heirloom tomatoes, which is exactly what you want for making luxurious sauces.

Summer Chili Cornbread Cobbler | baked-theblog.com

The chili base is pretty minimal. As much as I love the complex and time-consuming winter version, extra chunky and loaded with spices and various chillies, this one is delicious in its own summery way, with focus on the fresh tomato and peach flavours.

The cobbler topping is a little more buttery than cornbread, lightly sweetened, and perfect for absorbing the delicious chili juices below.

Summer Chili Cornbread Cobbler | baked-theblog.com

Summer Chili Cornbread Cobbler
Serves: 8
Print recipe here

Ingredients

Chili
2 lbs plum tomatoes (i.e. Roma, San Marzano, Opalka, etc..)
1/2 lb peaches (about 2-3 small peaches)
a few Tbsp. coconut oil, butter, or ghee to generously coat the skillet
1 medium cooking onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chipotle pepper powder
1 tsp. salt
1.5 cups cooked pinto beans (or 1 can, drained)

Cornbread Topping
1 1/4 cup light spelt or unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 egg
1 cup kefir or buttermilk
2 Tbsp. honey
1/3 cup of butter, melted

Garnishes
cherry tomatoes, halved
cilantro
thinly sliced chillis

Directions:

[Optional but recommended step: Start by peeling the peaches and tomatoes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and score an “X” at the blossom end of each fruit with a sharp knife. Prepare a large pot of cold water. Drop the fruit in the boiling water and transfer to the bowl of cold water as soon as the skins start to peel (~30 seconds, maybe a little longer for the peaches). Peel off all the skins with your hands and discard. They should come right off, but you can use a knife if you need to.]

Trim the stem end and roughly chop the tomatoes. Pit the peaches and chop them as well. Set the tomatoes and peaches aside.

In a cast iron skillet (I used a 10.25″), melt the butter, oil, or ghee over medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic with a few pinches of salt, until translucent and starting to brown. Add the spices and saute for a few more minutes. Add the tomatoes and peaches, lower heat, and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes.

While the chili is simmering, preheat the oven to 375°F and start preparing the cornbread topping.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk together the kefir/buttermilk, egg, and honey.

Add the wet ingredient mix to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour in the melted butter and whisk again until fully incorporated. Let sit for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, remove the lid from the simmering chile, slightly increase the heat to maintain a simmer, and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or so, until slightly reduced. Taste for salt/heat and adjust if necessary.

Stir in the beans and cook for a few more minutes. If the chili is too watery, continue reducing until the desired consistency is reached, but note that cornbread topping will soak up some of the liquid. Alternatively, if it’s too dry, add a little bit of water, simmer, and taste/season before topping.

Remove from heat and spoon the cornbread batter on top. Distribute it evenly, but don’t worry too much about the gaps, the batter will spread to cover the surface of the skillet.

Bake for ~20 minutes, until the cornbread is cooked through and golden. Rest for 10 minutes before digging in. Garnish with cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and chillies.

Notes

- If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can cook the chili in your pot of choice and transfer it to a baking dish before topping it with the cornbread batter
- Store any leftovers refrigerated and reheat in the oven for best results. If cooking in the cast iron skillet, transfer to another container before storage, as the acidic base can corrode the skillet if left for a long time.
- Other summery ingredient ideas: zucchini, fresh poblano or sweet peppers, fresh beans (vs. dried/canned), fresh corn for garnish