Sammy the Seal

Pear pie, first attempt

In delicious on Tuesday, 29 March, 2011 at 5:08

Not bad for a camera phone, the fidelity is comparable. How about that sexy office desk for aesthetic presentation?

Can’t believe I never thought of this one, especially since it’s about as inexpensive as apple, and you can only make both fresh anyway. It was suggested to me quite randomly the other week– “pear pie!”– and, well, as such, decided it was finally time to attempt my own dough. Also, I recently decided to try lattice crusts, and it’s incredibly easy and breaks up the monotony of regular top crust and crumble topping. As this isn’t a cooking blog, but more of a quick hit, I am not at all instructing, just showing how I did it. However, it’s simple enough that if you have a lump on your shoulders, like me, and can read, like me, you could attempt it easily enough, without having every step delineated.

Since I don’t have a big general knowledge cookbook or encyclopædia (ha ha, I like that spelling), I do my research online and this is the crust/dough recipe I chose. When it came to mixing in the butter, I had to do things slightly differently, as I do not have a flat beater nor even a stand-up mixer (those things cost around $200!), so I just did it the old-fashioned way– i.e., using hands. To be honest, it wasn’t that difficult and didn’t take that long, maybe a couple of minutes, and I felt like a pioneer. Well, comparatively. (At the end of that post there is a link on how to roll and bake, though it must be noted that it is for tarts only, as you pre-bake the crust for a tart, but not for a pie.) All in all, I have to say it turned out rather well. I mean, I did not have to knead it too much, it formed, held, and rolled out well. I’m pleased to say I was expecting more frustration that never arrived. The only “mistake” made was I forgot to let the dough “thaw” for a half hour before rolling it, so guess who stayed up an extra 30 minutes? So it goes: thaw 3o minutes if refrigerated, plus an extra day in the fridge first, if frozen.

Now for the filling:

5 ripe d’Anjou pears, sliced ~¼ inch thick
1/2 c brown sugar
3 T cornstarch (or flour)
allspice (not as much as the cinnamon)
1 t vanilla (optional, I added it as a lark, ha ha)

The spices I usually just eye, because I can’t be bothered to break out measuring spoons for spices. After dumping in the filling, and draping the lattice on top, I brushed it with egg white to glaze, and sprinkled some turbinado sugar (best known as, Sugar In The Raw®), just for show, and a little extra sweet. Then came the oven portion of the adventure, which came out to 10 min @ 425, then 30-35 min @ 350.

Honest to a fault, I had always been quick to admit that my pies contained store-bought crusts, but for the first time, I could say I made it myself without having to qualify the statement! I like that the entire thing contains about ten ingredients that one can list easily by memory. In my opinion, the bottom crust tasted a bit, uh, doughy, but maybe I’ll just roll it thinner next time. I just like more filling than crust, I mean, what’s the point of pie, if not the filling, hey? I was completely pleased by how impervious it was to the filling, as ripe pears are extremely juicy, which made slicing them a quite slippery (sorry) endeavor. I did not detect any sog, though I didn’t take a poll from the ten other people who tried it.

But people seemed to be pleased, as was I, especially for two things (pear, my own dough) that I’d never done before, though I’ll wait for butter to go on sale before I do my own crust again. 5/8 of a pound, yikes.

Bloodier than the first photo, but thought I'd include the fresh-out-the-oven shot, for posterity and such.

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