Thursday, January 22, 2009

pear pie

this week i am thankful for:

1. my husband, still, for being patient with me even as i am a cranky, hormonal bitch to him.

2. good friends who make me laugh and listen with understanding and without condemnation.

3. flexible recipes that still taste good even when i forget ingredients. i made this last night and forgot the sugar in the filling and overdid it on the pears, so it was un-sweet and the flavors were somewhat diluted. i love pie. i love how easy it is to make and how flexible it is to create. i love that even though i forgot the sugar, it still tasted delicious. like breakfast instead of dessert. i may start forgetting the sugar all the time.

gingered pear pie with golden raisins

2½ c. flour
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ c. chilled butter, diced
½ c. chilled shortening
¼ c. plus 2 T. buttermilk

¾ c. golden raisins
¼ c. plus 2 T. minced crystallized ginger (about 2½ oz.)
3 lb. ripe medium pears (about 7), peeled, cored, and sliced into ½-inch dice
½ c. sugar
3 T. melted butter
2 T. quick-cooking tapioca (i used cornstarch)
1 T. lemon juice
1¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg

1 egg
2 T. milk

combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. drizzle buttermilk over mixture and stir until moist clumps form. gather and divide into two balls, pressing flat into disks. wrap separately and chill one our. let stand at room temperature to soften slightly before rolling.

combine raisins and ginger in a small saucepan. add enough water to just cover and simmer over low heat until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

preheat oven to 400°. combine pears, sugar, melted butter, tapioca, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl; stir in raisin/gigner mixture. roll out one pie crust disk and transfer to pie plate. trim edges and fill with pear mixture. roll out second pie crust disk and cover pie, crimping edges to seal and slashing to vent. glaze top or sprinkle with sugar.

bake until crust is golden brown and juices bubble up through slashes, about 1 hour. cover edges with foil if browning too quickly. serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

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