Bartlett Pear

Pear season has begun and I dare say, I have a recipe that might just become your favorite pie of all time. Being raised in an orchard family with wonderful bakers, we have family fruit dessert dishes galore to choose from.

Pick up your pears at the Farmer’s Market (Gambell Farms has excellent fruit) or BC Tree Fruits Fruit Market or Day’s Century Farm.

This recipe is from my cookbook The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker- In The Okanagan (publisher TouchWood Editions). If you want to buy the book, Mosaic Books on Bernard Avenue is the best!

Pear Tree

Auntie Ruby’s “Oh My” Pear Pie

There is almost a pie for every fruit or berry that we grow here in the Okanagan. Besides apple, I have another family favourite: my Auntie Ruby’s Pear Pie! Perfect for the time of year when pears are at their peak, this unique treat would be a winner at any pie competition. Auntie Ruby (Leinemann) was a supermom that raised seven children here in Kelowna and spent much of her time in the kitchen creating delicious comfort food for them and any one else lucky enough to enjoy a meal at their home. She was also the best hugger ever. We miss you, Auntie Ruby.

Serves 6–8

  • 3 ripe Bartlett pears, cored & sliced in half
  • 1 baked pie shell
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
  • 3 egg yolks (whites reserved for meringue)
  • 3⁄4 cup (175 mL) whole milk
  • 1 cup (250 mL) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
  • 1 heaping Tbsp (20 mL) flour 3 egg whites
  • 1⁄2 tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla
  • 1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) cream of tartar 1⁄3 cup (75 mL) sugar

Preheat over to 350°F (180°C).

Place pears, core side down, in a star shape in the pie shell (points touching in the middle). Sprinkle with cinnamon. Make custard. Beat 3 egg yolks, add milk, sugar, and vanilla and then beat flour in mixture. Pour custard over pears. Bake for one hour or until just set. Remove from oven to cool (make sure it is cool before adding meringue or it will melt).

Make meringue. Beat egg whites, vanilla, cream of tartar, and sugar until stiff peaks form. Top pie with meringue and bake for another 10 minutes, or until peaks are golden brown. Try to share…

Auntie Ruby's Oh My Pear Pie

Jennifer SchellJennifer Schell is a writer, editor of BC Food & Wine Trails Magazine and internationally award winning author of three cookbooks titled: The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker. Born and raised on an orchard in East Kelowna, Jennifer’s family roots run deep in agriculture. An advocate for all things local, she focusses on shining the spotlight on the people of the food, wine and farm scene.