September 8, 2011

Pear Butterscotch Pie

Pears are a fruit we definitely associate with fall.  So why, you ask, do I bring you a fall pie recipe when it 30-blazing degrees out?  Because the pears were ready, I answer.  Simple as that.  If I could help it I wouldn't even so much as smell a pear or apple until I was totally ready to embrace the season.  But Mother Nature cares very little for my wants, so in her odd humor makes both apples and pears ready alongside peaches and blackberries.  Late August/early September is a very productive time here.

This pie was an astounding success.  Like...major!  I tried a new technique for the pie crust, after another crushing defeat by two pie crusts this summer.  I said a prayer as I slid it in the oven, crossing my fingers the dough wouldn't shrink or be tough as nails.  An hour later and it came out with golden rays of light shining down from the heavens.  It was THE PREFECT PIE CRUST.  Golden, light, flaky and oh so tender.  If this really works, which it has once, I'll be making oodles and oodles of pie this fall.  I can't wait!!!

Several people have asked for the recipe, I even got offered money to make some more.  No joke!  So here is what I did:

Pear Butterscotch Pie

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

To make this pie crust go to the Pioneer Woman's Page, I can't take credit for this crust at all.  It was the magician Pam that made this a success.  The tutorial there is instrumental to the crusts success and without the pictures I'd have been as doomed as I ever was making crust in the dark.

3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt (leave out if you butter is salted!)
100 g (1/2 c) firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 1/2 lbs firm-ripe pears, peeled, cored and each but into 6 wedges
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
Double pie crust recipe
1 tbsp butter, cut into bits
1 egg, or egg yolk mixed with 1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp white sugar

Get started with the pie crust from the other page, it needs to chill already rolled out in the fridge while you make the filling.

Put a baking sheet on the middle rack in your oven.  Preheat to 425 F.

Whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt (if using).  Whisk in brown sugar and break up any clumps.  Gently toss the pears into the sugar mixture adding lemon juice and vanilla.  Let stand for 5 - 15 minutes to macerate fruit.

Pour the fruit and filling into the prepared pie crust (in a 9-inch pie plate.)  Dot the remaining 1 tbsp butter on the surface of the pears.  Place the top crust overtop and fold the edges in, creating a seal.  Crimp the edges how you see fit.  Lightly brush the egg wash all over the top of the pie.  Add little embellishments if you'd like, like leaves with the scrap bits of dough.  Slice a few slits in the top crust to let some steam out while it cooks and sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp sugar over the top.

Bake the pie on the hot baking sheet for 20 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F and bake for 40-45 minutes longer, until the crust is golden and filling is bubbling.  Place the finished pie on a cooling rack and cool to warm or room temperature, 2-3 hours.  

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