Can you imagine going through life not liking apple pie ??? !! I do not know? I've always felt so "American" that I don't like one of our country's favorite desserts! I love fresh apples! I love apples in things like cakes and breads, and I even add them to my Thanksgiving stuffing! So why don't I like apple pie? That is not fair. If it was up to me, I would just like everything. But unfortunately, we just are not designed that way. So many, many years ago, I thought, hey, why not make one pear pie. I love cooked and baked pears so it should work just fine. And it was just fine! Wow, what a delicious, smooth and mild yet spicy and refreshing pie! I have tried to make this with both Anjou and Bosc pears, and have found that Bosc seems to bake better than Anjou. You also have to let the bulbs get very ripe first, otherwise you have to bake it for hours and your crust gets too done. And when we talk about crust, all good pies start with a good, buttery, flaky homemade pie crust! Cake crust is so easy to make and uses cheap ingredients, so there’s no excuse not to give it a shot. I'll show you how to make a fast, fast unit in the food processor that is virtually no mistake. Even in 95 degree heat with high humidity I had VERY little problems with it. Just need some extra flour than usual, but that's also expected when it feels like you just stepped into a blast furnace and got smacked in the face with a wet blanket. Ugh, it's been hot and ugly here. And the weather has a lot to do with how much water and flour you need. But don't worry, I'll do it for you! To start, just dump your flour, sugar and salt into the food processor and give it a whirl to blend!
Then measure out your butter, or use sticks. You need 8 oz. which is a cup or 2 sticks. Make sure to use real butter !! (* You can also use half butter and half butter. Oscar Mayer sells it in wrapped sticks, like butter, and it works very well.)
Cut the butter into small pieces, drop it in and pulse until coarse crumbs.
Then turn it on and drip in the ice water until it begins to pull away from the sides and form a sphere. As soon as it makes this STOP. You've added enough.
It will look like this …
Divide into 2 balls. Press flat on pieces of plastic wrap so the edges are neat and not cracked for easier rolling later. Wrap tightly and cool until firm. Do not over-handle. You do not want to melt the butter.
When the pastry is very cold, peel, core and cut your pears into a large bowl and toss them with lemon juice to prevent browning. Toss them in a large mixing bowl with cornstarch mixed with spices, add vanilla, toss to coat and set aside.
Remove pastry discs from the fridge and flour surface as well as the rolling pin and top of the disc with flour. Keep the rolling pin flour and free from dough pieces.
Roll out from the center outwards and always start in the middle, turning the dough a quarter of the turn now and making sure it does not stick. If it starts to stick, scrape and lift it up with a lick pot to loosen and toss more flour underneath. However, do not reverse it. And make your rolling pin and light flour to the top as needed. Roll out evenly and hold in a nice circle.
To get it in your pie dish, you can roll it around your pin and roll over the bowl, or do as I do and just gently fold it in half. If it doesn't tears, it cries, moisten one edge of the tear and gently press the other part of the tear over it to loosen it. My philosophy is, if it looks too perfect, people will think you haven't really done it. 😉 Then just cut away the excess with a sharp knife, fill with pears, dot of butter, cover with top pastry, seal and whistle. Scroll leftovers and cut them into shapes to decorate if desired! To glue them on, moisten your back with a little cold water.
After sealing and decorating, sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar mixture and stab a few holes in the top with a sharp knife to vent the steam during baking.
Pop into a preheated oven, 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 350 degrees, place a sheet of foil on the rack below for good measure, and continue baking until the crust is golden brown and the pie begins to bubble. Mine takes about an hour. * If your oven gets hot, your finishes get done faster and you may need to cover the edge with a small foil if they start to get too dark. I never need to pastry, however. And we're done !!!
And a look inside !! I wanted to show you the cut piece topped with ice cream, but as always, the first piece never comes out perfect! I made a little mess of it, lol! But the hubs devoured it and said it was wonderful, so that's all that counts! 😉
If I can get the next piece out without ruining it, I'll be sure to add another photo! Hopefully the 2 pieces for the neighbors will come out better! Hope you all have a great day and enjoy your weekend!
MILE-HIGH FRESH PEARL DAY
Make 1 – 9 ″ deep dish pie
For cake tartare:
2 1/2 cups flour, * use an extra 1/4 cup flour if very moist
1 cup (2 sticks) of cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbl. sugar
1/4 – 1/2 cup ice-cold water, * 1/4 cup is plentiful if very moist
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, can be sublimated
4 Tbl. corn starch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. Jordnøddermus
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbl. lemon juice, concentrate is fine
8 Bosc bulbs, peeled, cored and sliced
3 Tbl. cold butter, cut up
cinnamon sugar mixture
(1 Tbl. Or less milk if you want a shiny crust)
For pastry: In flour, add flour and salt. Swirl to mix. Add sliced butter and pulse until large coarse crumbs. While driving, drip drip into water from the top. Add just enough water until the dough forms a ball and pull away from the sides. Divide into 2 flat rounds. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until needed. (* To thaw, place in refrigerator overnight.)
How to make a circle: Whisk the first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In another large bowl, add peeled, sliced pears dripping with lemon juice and toss every now and then to prevent browning. I use my 8-slice apple cutter / cutter and then cut each section in halves or thirds depending on the size and shape of the pears. Stir pears in dry mixture. Stir in the vanilla. Dump into pastry lined pie plate, arrange pears lightly to fit well, and dot evenly with pieces of butter. (About 8 pieces.) Tires with lattice top or top of your choice. Trim excess away, close the edge and whistle. If you make a regular top, remember to prick the top with a fork or knife to vent the steam. Let pastry like, or lightly brush with a little cold water or milk to a shiny crust, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, turn oven down to 350 and continue baking until crust is golden and pie begins to bubble. About an hour's time. * Place a sheet of foil underneath as you turn the oven down to prevent spills on the bottom of your oven. Serve heated with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream if desired. Serves 6-8.