Daintily scratching egg yolk from the tines of a forgotten fork, I made an exciting discovery in the shade of marsala: blushing edges on the petals of my pancake plant, Waffle, clearly drunk on the sun.
I don’t think it occurred to me what a wonderful thing that was until that day.
Not so good.
Which is freakin’ fantastic for me.
Blueberry Pear Pie
This recipe comes courtesy of Alton Brown (with some adjustments). I made it for Pi Day after seeing this beautiful Instagram photo by Adrianna of A Cozy Kitchen. I have a lot of work to do before I can make a pie as pretty as she can, but I’m at least happy with how this one tasted! Pear and blueberry isn’t a combo I’ve had before, but it’s certainly one I’ll be going back to. Just as a note, the recipes here are intertwined – make the crust and the filling as you can. Both components can be made in advance.
2 Tbsp butter
4 Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp sugar
1 pinch grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 c blueberries
1 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 c pound cake, cubed (I used crumbled stale brioche)
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Sugar, to sprinkle
Heat a pan over medium heat. Add the butter, and let it melt. When it begins to bubble, add the pear slices and toss for about two minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and 4 Tbsp sugar, cooking until the pears are soft. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt, stirring to combine. Fold in the blueberries. Sprinkle the flour evenly – thinly – over the top of the mixture and stir. Allow to cool to room temperature. Prepare the pie crust while you wait (recipe below)!
When the filling is cool and the pie crust is prepped, sprinkle the pound cake or crumbled brioche into the bottom of the docked shell. Pour the cooled filling over top and weave the second round of crust into a lattice overtop. Place in the fridge to chill.
Preheat the oven to 400F. It is good to do it at this time so the pastry has time to chill again, which will result in a flakier pie.
When the oven comes to temp, remove the pie from the fridge and brush with the egg mixed with water. Sprinkle generously with sugar.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling begins to bubble and the crust is golden brown. Cool completely before slicing or you risk a runny pie!
Another AB goodie.
12 Tbsp (170g) butter
4 Tbsp (60g) shortening
2 c (284g) flour
1 tsp salt
8 Tbsp cold water, more if needed
Cube the butter and place it and the shortening in the freezer for fifteen minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the frozen butter and shortening, and press with your fingers (or a pastry blender or a fork or a pair of knives or however your grandma taught you) until it is the texture of coarse meal. Add the water a little at a time and mix/knead just until incorporated. Divide into two halves and wrap each tightly in plastic wrap, kneading as needed, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, place 1 round of dough on the counter to soften for 5 minutes. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough until it is large enough to fit in a 9″ pie tin – about 11-12″ in diameter. As you roll, check often to see that the dough is not sticking to the counter and apply more flour as needed.
Roll the dough around your rolling pin and lay it in the pie tin. Trim so there’s about 1” overhang, dock the bottom, and place it in the fridge.
Pull the second round of dough out of the fridge and roll as before, but cut into strips for lattice. Weave over the top of the cooled pie filling.