Friday, August 12, 2011

Spiced Apple and Pear Double Crust Pie

For my pie lovers

Okay,so I am a pie lover. There I said it. I learned from my mom, but learned that my paternal grandmother was a fantastic French Canadian pie baker. She made amazing pies and I was told by my father that I could bake a pie like his mother. Bless his soul. Not long after making a custard pie for him. He passed away.( not from the pie!) So, this popples is for you. I hope your enjoying your pie in the sky:) Since shortening*is really hard to find here, or in specialty stores I came up with my own substitute. 

For me  pie is all about the crust. I could really scrape away all the filling and just tuck into the crust. The somewhat salty, tender bite of pie heaven, but let's not kid our selves here we all have been "beaten" by a pie crust that would not cooperate, but hence my lovely reader's I have created a wonderful pliable fantastic pie crust recipe. Oh, how pleased I am to share this with you all.

How to double crust pastry:

Makes pastry for one 10-inch (25cm double pie crust)

2 1/4 cups (540ml) all purpose flour
    1/4 tsp.salt
     1/2 cup (120ml) cold butter, cut into ½ inch small pieces
      1/2 cup (120ml) cold baking margarine, cut into ½ inch small pieces
       1/3 cup (80ml) cold water

Make sure all your ingredients are very cold. I set the butter, margarine and water in the freezer for 15 minutes, and place the flour in the refrigerator for 15 minutes as well. It made a world of difference. 

Using your food processor or by hand and pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the flour,salt, butter and baking margarine.Process or cut in, or until the mixture resembles coarse meal or "pea size" and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water if needed and let rest for 30-40 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl.

turn into a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a short tube or cylinder. Divide into 3/3 and 1/3 pieces. wrap in plastic wrap and flatten gently into disk. Set in fridge for at least 20 minutes. Allow the dough to warm slightly at room temperature if it's too hard to roll 
On a lightly floured board roll the larger disk to a thickness of 1/8 inch cut a circle about 1 1/2 inches (3.8cm) larger than your pie plate and transfer to the plate by folding it in half or rolling it onto the rolling pin. turn the pastry edge under, leaving an edge the hands about 1/2 inch  over the plate. Either crimp the top as I have done here, by scalping the edge. 
Roll the second disk as directed by recipe or be creative. I have done a spiral crust design on this particular pie. Beautiful and a bit unusual. 


melon scooper is great for pears

  • ½ lemon¨
  • 3 pounds baking apples such as golden delicious I used Ingrid Marie about 6-8 in total
  • 1½ pounds of baking pears. such as Bosc or firm Bartletts  I used 6 pears
  • 2/3 cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie
1 ½ tablespoons of cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • generous pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla sugar 
  • Zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon set to the side.


cooking to a compote 

  • Finely grate the lemon zest and set to the side. Peel, core and then slice both the apples and the pear into ½ inch pieces. Pour the lemon juice over the fruit then toss fruit with the sugar, cinnamon ginger, salt and nutmeg.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium- high heat or a large pot will do as well.
  • Add the fruit to the melted butter and cook, uncovered until the fruit softens, and the juices evaporate. Can take up to ten minutes. Mix the flour into the fruit; then cook about a minute more to thicken the juices slightly.  
  • (If you have so much juice in the pan after the fruit has cooked and is tender strain the mixture reserving the juice and reduce it down to a thick syrup and then you can use it to drizzle over the finished pie or add it to the whipped cream.)
Finely stir in the vanilla and the lemon zest taste and add more spices if you desire.Remove from heat. The filling should resemble a compote. Cool completely and can store in the refrigerator for 3 days in a sealed container. 

cooled and ready for the top crust
I cut stripes and twisted them around the pie
When you have decided what type of top crust you shall have fill your pie bottom with the filling and arrange the top. I did a spiral pie crust and then sprinkled it with sugar before baking. I tend to like to let the pie sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before baking.   
  • Bake at 180 degrees c 350 degree f for one hour or until it is all bubbling and the crust is the nice golden brown. 
Let cool  and serve with whipped cream, a slice of cheese or a scoop or ice cream. Enjoy. Have a nice weekend  wherever  you might be.

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