A few years back I had an obsession with pears. Bosc pears to be specific. I ate one a day for close to 6 months. Some days, just fresh wedges. Other days, thinly sliced topping off a brie smeared bagel. Many days, diced and tossed in a salad. I still eat them often, just not at the rate I did back then. Today, I couldn’t get poached pears out of my mind. But a whole, poached pear isn’t what I wanted. After a little scrounging through the fridge, I found wonton wrappers. Perfect! I could make poached pear pocket pies.
To be exact, diced pears poached in a vanilla scented white wine [along with honey, lemon peel and dried cherries], and pocketed between two wonton wrappers. The pear filling has wonderful flavors and wasn’t overly sweet. It was nicely surrounded by the crispy wonton crust. They were very satisfying.
I used a 3-inch biscuit cutter for morphing the square wontons to circles for the pocket pies. I did make a few in the traditional wonton shape…more or less to “prove” to myself that I could accomplish the task. I preferred the round ones, as much more filling could be used. Though, the traditional shaped ones are very cute.
Once I had the pies formed, I treated them to an egg white wash and a sprinkling of turbinado sugar. They were delicious served with a bit of french vanilla ice cream! Two fresh pears will yield approximately 18, 3-inch pies. I would plan on 2 pocket pies per person.
Poached Pear Pocket Pies
2 pears, peeled and diced
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 cup water
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 pieces lemon peel [1×2 inches, each]
1/2 whole vanilla bean, split
36 wonton wrappers [use 3″ biscuit cutter to round them]
1 egg white
2 Tablespoons water
turbinado sugar for sprinkling
In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, add diced pears, dried cherries, 1 cup water, wine, sugar, honey, lemon peel and vanilla bean. Heat to a soft boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.
Remove fruit from poaching liquid with a slotted spoon, discard lemon peel and vanilla bean. Set fruit aside. Increase heat under liquid and boil until reduced to a thin syrup. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spritz with cooking spray. Lay one wonton circle on your work surface, spoon 1 heaping Tablespoon of fruit in center. Dip one finger in a little bit of water and wet the outer rim of the wonton, top with 2nd circle and using your fingers, seal the edges. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue with the remaining wontons.
Beat the egg white with the 2 Tablespoons of water. Using a pastry brush, glaze the top of each pocket pie. Sprinkle each with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve hot out of the oven, or a room temperature.
The reduced poaching liquid, the syrup, can be used for dipping the pies or drizzled over the ice cream. It’s delicious both ways.
Note: These are best eaten the same day they are prepared.
Poached pear pocket pies first appeared on feasting with friends.