Pomegranate-Pear Slab Pie with Walnut Crust

The only way to achieve true ruby-red pomegranate brightness is to make it yourself.

Store-bought pomegranate molasses can be a wonderful thing, but the only way to achieve true ruby-red pomegranate brightness is to make it yourself – an easy task; don’t worry. Watch it carefully during the final minutes of cooking so nothing scorches.

Serves | 12 |

Walnut Crust

  • ¾ cup walnut halves
  • 3¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • ½ cup shortening, cold and cut into 6 pieces
  • 1⁄3 cup chilled vodka
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp ice water

Pomegranate Molasses

  • 16 oz unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 1⁄3 cup granulated sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon

Pomegranate-Pear Slab Pie

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground Vietnamese cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 4¼ lbs (about 6 large) d’Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and sliced into ¾-inch chunks
  • 3 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup pomegranate molasses (recipe above)

| Preparation – Walnut Crust | In the bowl of a food processor, add walnut halves and pulse until ground into a fine meal. Add flour, sugar and salt and pulse until ingredients are evenly distributed. Add chilled butter and pulse twice to distribute; add shortening and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and drizzle vodka over top; fold until mixture is hydrated and smooth, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough forms. Divide into 2 discs, 1 a bit larger than the other; flatten, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, roll out larger disc of dough into a rectangle on a generously floured surface, lifting and rotating as you roll to eliminate sticking. Carefully transfer dough to a 9-by-13-inch nonstick jelly roll pan; dough should cover bottom and sides of pan and hang over sides slightly. Trim sides as needed. Set aside.

| Preparation – Pomegranate Molasses | In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add all ingredients and stir. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture has thickened and reduced to ½ cup. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

| Preparation – Pomegranate-Pear Slab Pie | Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a small bowl, combine sugar, salt, cinnamon and cornstarch and whisk to combine. In a large bowl, add sliced pears and sprinkle sugar mixture over top; add melted butter and pomegranate molasses and fold until sugar mixture has evenly coated fruit.

Pour fruit mixture into prepared pie crust; spread evenly throughout middle and sides of pan. Roll out second disc of dough on a floured surface and transfer to cover pie; trim sides and crimp edges together firmly. Cut several slits in top crust to vent or use small cutters to cut a few decorative vent holes near center. If you like, roll out excess crust and use small cutters to cut shapes to decorate crust.

Bake on middle rack of oven until pie is golden on top and fruit is bubbling, 1½ hours, covering edges with foil if they begin to brown early. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature to set filling. Slice into squares and serve with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blogaperiodictableblog.com, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.

More Sweets articles.