How to Freeze Pear Pie Filling

Pear Pie filling

Pear pie filling package

When life hands you too many pears–make frozen pear pie filling.

Although this is not exactly a recipe from my ancestors (who did not have freezers!), I like to think I’ve adapted the recipe using some of the principles of my ancestors who wore aprons.

  • Frugality–never letting food go to waste.
  • Love of fruit desserts. They seemed to be constantly inventing new ways to use fruit.
  • The popularity of pie-A  penchant passed down from at least my grand father and grandmother through my mother and probably back farther than that. That’s how I learned to make a Perfect Pie Crust.

 

Pear pie filling

Frozen pear pie filling.

Sonnenberg Cook Book

I adapted the frozen pear pie filling idea from the spiral-bound, vintage community cookbook, 150th Anniversary Sonnenberg Kidron 1819-1969 Cookbook, which was a gift from my mother-in-law. That cookbook (and that church) comes directly from my husband’s Mennonite ancestor heritage.

And feel free to go wild. When I baked the pie following the recipe below, I added dried cherries and chopped walnuts.

The next time I pulled a frozen packet out of the refrigerator, I popped in in a pie shell and topped it with a streusel topping instead of a top crust. (1/2 C brown sugar, 1/2 C butter and 1 C flour, mixed with fingers for a crumbly topping.) For that version, I had to cover lightly with foil during the last half of the baking so the streusel would not get too brown.

Here’s the basic recipe, which is very flexible.

Pear Pie – Frozen filling

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts pears (Peeled and sliced. About 4-5 pears per quart.)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Minute Tapioca
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg

Directions

1. Mix sliced pears with all other ingredients, and let sit for 15 minutes.
2. Line four pie pans with heavy-duty aluminum foil, extending the foil on all sides so that you will be able to seal the filling.
3. Pour the pear mixture into the lined pans and fold the foil loosely over the filling.
4. Freeze until solid. Fold the foil tightly to seal and remove the foil packet from the pan. Replace in freezer.
5. Filling can be frozen for up to 6 months.
6. When ready to bake, line pie pan with pastry, unwrap the filling and drop it into the unbaked pastry. Dot with butter. Top with a top crust.
7. Seal edges and cut slits in top crust. (If you want to make it sparkle, brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.)
8. Bake at 425 degrees for one hour.

Note

Yes, this is an enormous recipe.  If you don't have that many pears, it is easy to cut in half for fourths.

See my recipe for Perfect Pie Crust.

The recipe for pear pie can be used for berry pies or rhubarb or apple pie, adjusting the amount of sugar and the thickening according to how sweet or juicy the fruit is.

 

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