Friday, September 28, 2012

Autumn Pear~Cranberry Pie

A few years ago, I had a fetish for collecting pears to the point of one Christmas I made over fifty in paper mache' to decorate our tree (they're packed away!)  I even baked gingerbread pears, along with some partridges, and placed them on this beautiful platter my daughters gave me for the holidays.
Today, I was having a yearning for something pear and a pie was my choice--actually, my hubby's who loves pie, even better than cake.
It's another one of those fall fruits that often takes second place behind apple and pumpkin, but I think it deserves it's rightful place, right along side. My grandson, Ari agrees;

from the time Ari was big enough to eat pears, it's been one of his favorites.  Here he is at almost 8 months...
...and enjoying one as a snack with the last hike he took with his mama, April 2010.
When I joined him and his dad for apple picking a few years ago, Ari headed right for the pear tree! He's definitely as much a pear lover as I am:-D

Perfect Pie Dough
4 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 3/4 cup shortening
1/2 ice cold water
1 large egg
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, first mix all the dry ingredients.  Then, add the shortening, while the mixer is running, a tablespoon at a time.  Finally, mix all the wet ingredients together in a 2 cup measure and again, while the mixer is running add them slowly.
 Transfer all the dough to a lightly floured board and knead until smooth.
 Shape into a log and cut in half, then half again.
Flatten each one to a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in the refrigerator to chill several hours, but the best thing about this dough (besides no matter how many times you roll it out, it remains so flakey!) it freezes beautifully for up to 6 months.
You can make up pie dough now and have plenty on hand for Thanksgiving and the holidays.

Autumn Pear~Cranberry Pie
8-10 pears (I used a mixture of Bartlett and Bosc)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup Pie Filling Enhancer
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp. ground cardamon
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Peel, core and slice pears.  
This is my favorite Pear Slicer I got free by sending in a sales receipt a few years ago to the National Pear Organization.
 Place in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients (you can substitute the Pie Filling Enhancer for 3 Tablespoons of cornstarch (cornflour). Mix gently with a spatula.
Preheat oven to 400F-degrees.  Roll out one of the disks of dough and place in a 9-inch pan.  Flute edges if desired, then add the filling.  In lieu of a top crust, I cut out leaves and a pear to top the fruit with.  I also sprinkled some green sugar on top, but honestly, it looks a little weird and I think next time, I'll stick to my usual plain sugar:-D
My latest gadget...wish I had thought of it.  The perfect under the pie shield.  The center keeps the pie plate elevated so heat is distributed evenly...and it catches the spills of all your fruit pies!



Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375F-degrees and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes more, covering the edges with a shield if they're browning too quickly.
Bubbling juices and the intoxicating aroma of vanilla and pear, made it hard to wait for it to cool completely.  Now, if I just had some vanilla ice cream--oh well, I'll savor the simple enjoyment of warm pie on this cool night. Enjoy!



31 comments:

  1. Hi Susan...I love the idea of the pear/cranberry combination. I think I could eat a slice for breakfast, along with a couple of links of sausage!

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    1. If we lived closer, that's just what we'd be having; I think fruit pies are perfect for breakfast! Thank you for always being there for me...something the apron gave both of us, XOXO

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  2. Mmmm! What a divine combination! And I'm eager to try your pie crust.

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    1. Petty, I won a pie contest when I lived in Ridgefield with that dough recipe. Absolutely the flakiest pie dough you'll ever make, no matter how many times you roll it out, and so easy. Great for the pie season coming up! XOXO

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  3. That looks so good, and I love the way you have decorated the top. It is the same over here with pears, they are definitely under valued by most people.

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    1. I thought the green sugar would enhance the leaves and pear I cut out of dough, but it looks a little Halloweeny green:-D I do know that Ari would LOVE it! XOXO

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  4. I am so excited to write and tell you that I have the Traveling Susan apron and posted about it this morning! It is beautiful and very happy to be here in Florida! Sweet HUGS to you!

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    1. ...and I'm excited to learn we have another Sister! I visited your blog and see why the apron chose you, XOXO

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  5. That looks so good! My Dad loved pears - they were his favourite. I love them in a crumble. Our fruit crop was dismal this year because of the weather , but there are a few pears on the tree so I may have just enough for one crumble, albeit a small one!

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    1. Crumbles are one of my favorites and my mother would just whip them up for dessert. My sister also lost all, but two of her pears this year with a wind storm this summer. I rely on our wonderful growers at the Farmer's Market to get mine. Pears are definitely a baking memory for me:-D

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  6. That is the perfect dessert for Fall. I love your pretty leaves...I used to make pies like this! How lovely!

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    1. It maybe just in the mind, but I think presentation is everything and only adds to the taste. I only wish I hadn't sprinkled with green sugar...what was I thinking:-(

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  7. Lovely, Susan! I luuuuuuuuuv pear pie. Few of my friends around here can appreciate it, I have no idea why. :) I make mine like an apple pie. I like your leaves much better than just a plain ol' crust. We're still in summer here with 100 degrees on Monday. I'm waiting for cooler temps for pies. But, I can live vicariously through you, my friend. :) lv,me

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  8. I know, it was HOT in California...hotter than I remember and found myself missing my surroundings of evergreens and moss:-D I just switch into pies when the fall comes, maybe it's the holiday thing. I was thinking, when I made this up, too bad I don't have some Eau de vie Poire, but I bet Ellen does! to add to the flavors:)

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    1. As a matter of fact, I do have pear brandy in the stash. :) I used it prior to my BIWB days for my first attempt at clafouti. I think it would be great in pear pie! Very yummy!!

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  9. You have me crave for pear pie at 9pm!! It looks irresistible with these decorative leaves.
    Love your new gadget...I should get one too.
    Enjoy your weekend!
    Angie

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    1. That gadget, which is less than $15.00, is worth it's weight in gold. Not only did it catch the "spills" from the juices, but clean up was the easiest I've ever had. The bottom of the pie crust baked perfectly and as I said, "Boy, do I wish I had thought of this!" XOXO

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  10. Susan can you believe I've never eaten pear pie! Pears are so delicious and juicy I will have to make your creation. I have your pie crusts in my freezer now and love having them at the ready. xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

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    1. It doesn't surprise me, but I know once you try it, you'll wonder why you hadn't had it before. That pie crust is probably one of my best creations and like you, I always have some disks in the freezer for when the "urge" hits me:-D

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  11. Would love to have you link this to "Open House"!

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    1. Thank you for the opportunity...I'd love to. Now, I only wish we were really close enough to share this pie over a pot of lovely tea in your garden:-D

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  12. Pears have been a favorite of my daughter, too. Like Ari she prefers them over apples and several other fruits.
    I have never made or eaten a pear pie, I usually bake a French pear tart. Thanks, Susan, for a new recipe idea!

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    1. I've made your French pear tart and it's one of my favorites! There's just something different in pears that I find appealing, not only in desserts, but I use them in salads and soups (butternut). I think it's a nice change at Thanksgiving--try it with Asian pears too...delish! XOXO

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  13. NOTHING I bake ever looks one quarter as lovely as what you make. Marry ME!

    Will you be visiting Ari in October? I will be in Lexington at Joseph Beth Booksellers. I would love to see you and Ari.

    Sending love,

    Sharon

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    1. I would have loved to meet up with you there, but they are now in Ohio--his dad was offered a position at Oberlin College. I am going there the end of the month to be with Ari while his dad is away. I have to smile that you mentioned Joseph Beth Booksellers (one of my favorite stores!) because Ari and I were just talking about it the other day; riding the escalator for the first time to the children's section, playing with the Thomas the Train set, and so many books to decide on.
      I will have to await your visit to the Pacific Northwest, but oh what a visit and I will bake, XOXO

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  14. OMGosh I just found your blog and I'm so super excited! I've gotta go grab another cup of coffee and keep reading. Your recipes are to die for. Oh no, I can see another 5lbs coming my way! Thank you so much for your contribution! Ha! OK now on to read some more! Carolyn

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    1. Thank you for such sweet comments. Although, I have been professionally trained in pastry arts, my baking comes from my mother. Watching her measure in her hand and creating such delicious meals and baked goods is where my inspiration comes from. She always let me experiment and instilled confidence in me that anything is possible--it's the best gift we can give our children, XOXO

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  15. The pie looks amazing, but I love that sweet photo of Ari and his Mama. Such love.

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    1. Natalie, I have looked at that photo about a million times; I have it on my Ott light in my studio. He wasn't quite two when she passed away and you can just see how he's staring at her with such love and "drinking" in every essence of her. I can tell you, he is the spitting image of his mother in looks and a lot of her personality...which makes me happy, XOXO

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  16. susan i've come and gone from this post several times now. i get stopped at the photo of your girl and her baby and lose my voice. she is beautiful as is ari as are you. the space you've created here is so warm and lovely, it feels like i'm sitting in your cosy kitchen, i can almost smell the pies and cookies baking. just wanted to tell you i think your amazing. hugs xxxxx lori

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