Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pearberry Pie

Well, she ain't the prettiest belle of the ball, but she'll do. After finals, and quite possibly one of the most emotionally draining and physically challenging semesters, I definitely needed a bright, yet holiday worthy, pick-me-up. With an empty pie plate in hand (whose pumpkin contents had just been devoured) I decided on this simple looking tasty delight. This was also the first time I had made a lattice crust, so while it is a little messy, it only gets easier with practice. I used this tutorial from Smitten Kitchen and it was incredibly easy. I love fruit pies because they're not too sweet and the sugar and butter in the mixture help bring out the  natural juices in the fruit, so once you get past the crust, it's not really that difficult of a pie to make in terms of the filling. Add a dollop of fresh maple whip cream on top, and I think you've got yourself a new holiday treat. 


For the dough:

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
7 tbs cold butter
5 tbs shortening
3 1/2-5 tbs ice water

For the filling:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 oz blueberries
6 oz raspberries
3 pears (either bosc or anjou)
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs butter
2 tbs maple syrup
optional: extra butter for the pears
optional: 2 tbs brandy

Preheat oven to 425

1. In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt together for a couple seconds. Slowly add the butter (cut up into little chunks) and pulse once you've added half the butter. Then add the rest of the butter and pulse. Finally, add the shortening and pulse until you've combined the ingredients. Make sure to push down the dough on the sides with a spatula a couple times. The mixture should look kind of coarse. Slowly add in the ice water one tablespoon at a time, until you get a doughy consistency. I added about 4 tablespoons of water. Remove dough from food processor and bring together in a ball. Then separate the dough into two flat discs, make sure one disc is bigger than the other. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile, cut the pears into chunks. I had pears that were less ripe, so I sauteed them with butter, powdered sugar, and maple syrup, then flambéed them with brandy. But if you have ripe pears, move to step 3.

3. Combine all ingredients for the filling, and mix together well. I added the juice of half a lemon instead of just 1 tablespoon, and I also added some nutmeg because I had it lying around. 

3. Butter and flour an 8 inch pie plate. Find a big surface and flour both the surface and the rolling pin. Roll out your bigger disc of dough to about 1/8 inch thick (you may have to try a couple times, and add more flour along the way). Fit dough to pie plate and trim edges. 

4. Re-flour surface and rolling pin. Roll out the other, smaller, disc of dough into about 1/8 of an inch. Using either a pizza cutter (or some kind of pastry cutter with a serrated-type pattern) cut out 10 strips of dough - 5 will go vertically so they will need to be a tad longer and 5 will go horizontally. Add the filling to the pie plate, and then proceed to your lattice crust. See tutorial here


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