PEAR PIE FILLING
6 cups sliced PEARS
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Peel, core and slice pears. Place in a bowl. Add sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and vanilla, and coat the fruit.
Spoon the pear mixture into your pie shell. Cover with a lattice top and BAKE at 350° F for approximately 30 minutes, checking after twenty minutes to see how things are going. Remove, cool and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
PERFECT PIE CRUST
2 ½ cups of FLOUR
1 cup of COLD. COLD, I mean cold BUTTER (two sticks)
5 tablespoons COLD WATER
Okay, here is the secret: The butter and the water must really be chilled. You can even take the butter, cut it up into chunks, and put it in the freezer for ten minutes. But even if you don’t do this, take the butter from the refrigerator and IMMEDIATELY get the job done.
- Get your dry ingredients together.
- Add in your cold butter. Use a food processor, or if you’re a Luddite like me (note: a kitchen without even a microwave), use a fork or one of those pastry cutting things. The butter and the floor mix should be combined until it’s a kind of coarse, evenly blended meal. Now begin dribbling in the water and working it until you have a ball.
- Divide your dough into two pieces, about a 60/40 split with the 60% piece working for the bottom, and the 40% for the lattice top (or for a second, smaller tart—a chicken potpie? An experiment pie?).
- Mold the dough into the shape of a pita—or a mini-flying saucer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate your dough for a least an hour (two hours is better, but who can wait that long?).
- Remove from the frig and roll out the larger piece for the bottom (I dust a piece of wax or parchment paper, roll out onto this, and then place the pie pan on top, flip the whole thing, and peel back the paper and throw it away. Presto/chango. Cut and style the edges (with your fingers—my favorite part), and you’re ready to fill and bake (with fruit, custard, whatever your heart desires….)
Holly Goldberg Sloan