We went to New Jersey this year and it was a food fest! We spent time with the family, went to a (terrible) Rutgers football game, did some shopping...Everything, company included, was excellent. And we ate...and ate...and ate!!
My small contribution to the menu was a dessert...a pear pie. On the Food TV show, Alton Brown had used a high sided metal pie dish and a pie bird...So i started my search for both items. The dish was relatively easy...Williams Sonoma, $14. The bird however...was another story!I looked online and found a few, but none would have arrived in time! I drove all over the Upper Cape...and made my last stop in this little shop in Centerville, Cape Cod Cookery. And there it was, right at the door!!! $12 something!
The bird allows the steam created by the fruit to escape, preventing a soggy crust. No bird???!! No problem, you can either make cuts in the crust or make a chimney at the center with a wide macaroni! But the bird looks good!
Pear and Cranberry Pie
8 oz butter (1/2 stick), cut into 1/2 -in pieces
1 Tbsp sugar
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
a pinch of salt
3 Tbsp cranberry juice
2 Tbsp white vinegar
9 - 10 pears, mixed varieties, peeled, cored and cut into 8th
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cranberry jam (or lingonberry...I even used pomegranate jam!)
1 Tbsp cranberry juice
3 Tbsp tapioca flour (in natural food store or the gluten free aisle of your supermarket)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Prepare the crust:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the juice and vinegar and pulse until it forms a ball. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.
Prepare the filling:
In a bowl, mix the pears with the sugar, the cranberry juice, cranberry jam, tapioca flour and cardamom.
Assemble the pie:
Preheat the oven at 425F.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Roll one into a disc, about 1/8-in thick. Line the bottom and sides of the pan. Place the pie bird at the center of the pie and place the pears around it, piling them slightly higher around the bird.
Roll out the second disk of dough. Place it on top of the pears and the bird, pressing the pie bird though the dough. Press the edges together sealing the fruits in tight. Brush the top of the crust with milk and bake on the bottom rack of the even for about one hour.
Let cool for a few hours to let the juices settle.
Serve with vanilla whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.