Rustic Pear and Almond Pie

Rustic Pear and Almond Pie 4

Fruit pies really are a wonder to behold. Tucked inside a flaky, buttery crust you have sumptuous fruit that has released its natural juices and is then poached in that liquid. If you reduce the juice enough, it transforms into a sweet syrup born of the natural sugars in the fruit, bringing a complementary flavor to the softened fruit chunks within the pie.

Rustic Pear and Almond Pie 1

There are two important considerations with fruit pies: using the ripest fruit available and managing the amount of liquid expelled from that fruit.  This recipe uses cornstarch in the filling to help absorb some of the fruit’s liquid and the amount you use may vary depending on the juiciness of your fruit.  As far as choosing ripe fruit, choose whatever looks best at your local market.  If the pears you find aren’t appealing and ripe or simply aren’t in season, you can substitute other similar fruit.  Apples (I prefer a mix of varieties), peaches, plums, nectarines, or even cherries could be swapped in for the pears.Rustic Pear and Almond Pie 2 Rustic Pear and Almond Pie 3

A special thanks to Ingrid at The Cozy Apron for this recipe.  Check out her how-to video below for a charming 3-minute tutorial for this pie.  Just watching this video I can already smell the warm pie aromas in my own kitchen.

Rustic Pear and Almond Pie 5

Rustic Pear and Almond Pie

A simple yet delicious rustic fruit pie. The pears can be replaced with apples or stone fruits, but you may need to adjust for the liquid content of other fruit with more or less cornstarch.

Ingredients

    For the Crust:
  • 2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (170 g) cold butter, cubed
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • For the Spiced Pear Filling:
  • 4 Bosc pears, peeled, quartered, cored, then sliced
  • 2 D'Anjou pears, peeled, quartered, cored, then sliced
  • 1/4 cup (55 g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (55 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (use 3 tablespoons if the pears are very juicy)
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, sliced and toasted, for garnish
  • For the Almond Whipped Cream:
  • 8 oz (237 ml) heavy cream, cold
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract

Directions

    For the Crust:
  1. In the bowl of your food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse a couple of times to blend.
  2. Add the cold butter, cold water, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Pulse for a minute or so, until the mixture is combined and the dough ball begins to form. Be careful to not overmix.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap on your counter and form into a large disc. Tightly wrap the dough disc in the plastic and allow it to rest for 1/2 hour to 1 hour in the refrigerator. While waiting, make the pear filling.
  4. For the Spiced Pear Filling:
  5. Preheat your oven to 400 °F (205 °C) with a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a lightly greased pie plate on top of the foil.
  6. In a large bowl, toss all of the filling ingredients gently together, being careful not to break the pear slices. Set aside.
  7. Assemble the Pie:
  8. Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to approximately a 12 inch (30 cm) diameter circle, about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick.
  9. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin and gently lay it into the pie plate, allowing the excess dough to hang over the sides. If the dough feels sticky, try rolling the dough out on a piece of floured parchment paper. Invert the pie plate on top of the dough circle and gently flip the pie plate and dough together, making the pie plate right-side-up. Then carefully peel off the parchment paper and press the dough to the bottom of the pie plate.
  10. Pour the pear filling into the crust and fold the overhanging dough on top of the pears, creating a fold-over crust. To make the pie prettier and less rustic-looking, arrange the top layer of pear slices into concentric circles or a spiral.
  11. Using a pastry brush, brush some of the egg-wash along the folded-over crust. Then sprinkle the sugar on top of the egg washed crust.
  12. Place the pie on the foil-lined baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
  13. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool on a rack for a couple hours.
  14. For the Almond Whipped Cream:
  15. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cold cream.
  16. Once the cream starts to thicken, sprinkle in the sugar and the almond extract.
  17. Whip until peaks form, but be careful to not overmix.
  18. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  19. To Serve:
  20. Slice the cooled pie and garnish with a dollop of the almond whipped cream, a dusting of cinnamon powder, and a sprinkle of sliced almonds.

Notes

http://thedessertstomach.com/2013/06/05/rustic-pear-and-almond-pie/

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