5-spice pear bars

These bars remind me of apple pie.  But just a little more special because they are made with pears.  And have the added bonus of Chinese 5-spice powder.  I have made them to share with neighbors for the past two years on Halloween and they are always a hit.

© Tina Vega Photography

Not only do they taste delicious, they make for a lovely presentation.  The printable recipe is below.

5-Spice Pear Bars


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 6 cups peeled, cored, and thinly sliced ripe pears (about 6 medium)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup crushed cornflakes
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 recipe Orange Icing (below)


  1. For pastry, in a large bowl combine flour, the 2 Tablespoons sugar, and the salt. Cut in shortening and butter until pieces are pea size.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks and milk. Gradually stir egg yolk mixture into flour mixture, tossing with a fork to moisten. Sprinkle with 1-2 Tablespoons of water, if needed. Gather mixture into a ball, kneading gently. Divide dough into two balls, making one slightly larger than the other. Wrap and refrigerate until needed.
  3. For filling, in an large bowl combine pears, the 1 cup of sugar, cornflakes, and the 5-spice powder.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly flour the larger dough portion and use your hands to flatten it into the bottom of a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. [I line the bottom of my baking sheet with parchment paper first.] Spoon filling evenly over pastry-lined pan.
  5. Roll the remaining dough portion between two pieces of waxed paper to a 15x10-inch rectangle. Carefully peel off top piece of waxed paper. Invert the rectange pastry-side down over the filling. Carefully peel off waxed paper. Using damp fingers, press edges of the two rectangles together. Cut several slits into the top pastry and brush with egg white.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until golden. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Drizzle with Orange Icing. Let stand until icing is set. Cut into bars.
  7. Orange Icing: In a medium bowl, stir together 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon orange peel, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and enough milk (1-2 Tablespoons) to make icing a drizzling consistency.

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