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pre-made pie dough

4 firm but ripe pears, peeled

750-ml bottle merlot

2 cups water

1/2 cup sugar

2 star anise

4 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 tsp ground cardamom

Juice and peel of one lemon

1 vanilla bean, opened and scraped

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tbs butter


1 egg, for egg wash


Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Cut pears in half lengthwise, then use a melon baller to core out the seeds from the bottom of the pear.

Using a vegetable peeler, make 4 or 5 strips of lemon peel. In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients except for the pears. Cook over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil.

Add pears. Reduce the heat and simmer until the pears are tender, around 20 minutes. Remove the pears from the pot and set aside to cool. Once cooled, cut very thin slits down the pears lengthwise, making sure a substantial bit at the top is left uncut. You want to be able to fan out your pears, while still intact.

You can boil the remaining poaching liquid until it has thickened and reduced, and use it to drizzle over finished crostata.

On a floured surface, roll out your pre-made dough. Place pears in the middle of the dough, make sure to leave a bit of dough on the edges to fold over.

Fold the remaining dough edge over the pears, There should be a bit of pear covered by dough. Scatter butter cubes on top of the pears. Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. Sprinkle additional raw sugar over the pears. Bake the crostata for 35-40 minutes. Until the pears are soft and the crust is golden brown.


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