Holiday desserts in my house have always meant pie. Sure, there might be a few other things that I whipped up or that guests brought. And they change with the season and mood. But there's always pie. When I was a kid, I really only ever wanted the crust and could do without the filling. But now that I make my own pies, I want them both.
More often than not, my pie filling choice is apple with lots of cinnamon. There's just something so comforting about a good old fashioned apple pie. But since there are also so many glorious pears at this time of year, I decided to combine the two. I generally like my apples on the softer side so I use a golden or red delicious. But pears cook more quickly so definitely use a firmer variety, like bosc, or just make sure your pears are not over ripe when you buy them.
As for the crust, we can debate flaky vs. tender, butter vs. shortening but, if I'm baking, it's an all butter crust every time. For me, nothing beats that flavor and a touch of baking powder adds the flakiness that shortening would otherwise bring. Whatever the flavor, pie doesn't ever last long in my house. Enjoy!
Yield: 8 Servings
Pear and Apple Autumn Pie
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 1 Hourinactive time: 1 HourTotal time: 2 H & 30 M
Recipe for an apple and pear pie with a homemade butter crust.
For the Crust:
- 2 Cups all purpose flour plus extra for rolling out the dough
- 1/4 Cup sugar
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
- 2 Sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1" pieces)
- 1/4 Cup ice water
For the Filling:
- 3 Apples, peeled and cored
- 3 Firm pears, peeled and cored
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
For the Topping:
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
- To make the crust, add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and butter to a food processor. Pulse a few times just until the mixture resembles course crumbs. With the machine running, pour the ice water in through the feed tube and continue running until the mixture turns into a dough ball. Do not overmix. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Dice the apples and pears into small pieces (approximately 1"). Add them to a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice. Add the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Note that I usually set this aside while I roll out the crust and then drain some of the liquid that forms in the bowl to keep the pie from being too wet.
- Cut the crust in half and, on a well floured surface, roll out each half to approximately a 9" circle. Drape one half onto your rolling pin and transfer to an 8" pie plate. Add the apple and pear filling.
- Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the remaining dough circle into about 5 wide strips. You can also cut more strips if they want them narrow. Alternate the strips to create a lattice crust and trim off the edges. I used a fork to seal the edges as well.
- Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the crust. Place on a baking sheet (to catch any drips) and bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown.
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