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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spiced Apple & Pear Pie

makes one 9" pie
recipe adapted from Food Network
filling prep time: 45 min / cook time: 1 hr 5 min

1 box store bought pie crust
* I used Trader Joe's brand
ingredients from the original recipe here

1/2 lemon
3 lbs. baking apples, such as Golden Delicious, Cortland or Mutsu (about 6 apples)
* I used 2 apples
1 1/2 lbs. baking pears, such as Bosc or firm Bartletts (about 3 pears)
* I used 6 pears
2/3 c sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp fine salt
* I omitted the salt since I used salted butter
Generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 c unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
* I used salted butter
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten

If making your own pie crust, following the instructions from the original recipe here.

• Finely grate the lemon zest and set aside.
• Peel, core and slice both the apple and pear into 1/2" slices.
• Squeeze the lemon juice over the fruit, then toss fruit with the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg.
• Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
• Add fruit and cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves and juices simmer, about 2 minutes.
• REduce heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, until the fruit softens and the juices evaporate some,a bout 10 minutes.
• Evenly mix the flour into the fruit; then cook about a minute more to thicken the juices slightly.
• Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest; and remove from the heat.
* The filling should resemble a tight compote.
• Cool completely.

• If making your own pie crust, follow the instructions under "form the pie" here.
• Transfer the dough to a 9" glass pan, trimming the hangs about 1/2" over the edge of the pan.
• Fill the crust with the prepared fruit so it mounds slightly in the center.
• Brush the rim of the crust with some of the egg.
• Roll the remaining dough into a 12" circle OR cut into long strips if doing a lattice pattern.
• Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
• Meanwhile, place a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 425˚ F.
• Brush pie with egg and sprinkle with sugar.
• If you are laying a full pie sheet on top of the pie, cut 6-9 small steam vents into the top of the dough.
• Place pie on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375˚ F.
• Bake until the crust (both top and bottom) is golden brown, about 50 minutes more.
* If the edges brown too quickly, make a pie shield out of a piece of aluminum foil and cover the edges.
• Cool on a rack.

• I ended up receiving a fruit basket and wanted to use the fruit. Unfortunately, the fruit was a bit too ripe. To keep the fruit from breaking down too much, cut the fruit into larger pieces.
• I found the filling to be a bit too sweet, so add less than what is asked for and add more sugar for taste.
• The filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.
• The pie can be fully formed, except for the brushing with egg and dusting with sugar, and frozen. Place the pie in the freezer for 30 minutes, to harden it slightly, and then double wrap it with plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, unwrap the pie and brush it with egg and sprinkle with sugar. If baking from the frozen state, following baking temperatures above, the pie may need to bake slightly longer at 375˚ F, about 1 hour 25 minutes.




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