When I went to Washington, D.C. last month to visit friends, my best friend, Marissa, and her housemates threw the best dinner party. Marissa made a fantastic Moroccan chicken dish, I brought some herbed couscous, Scott and Dani made homemade hummus, and Jess made a flavorful and healthy chickpea salad. We were all so full after the delicious meal, but knew we had to make some more room for dessert, because David brought pie.
I didn’t know this when we began putting the dinner party together, but David is apparently a bit of a pie legend around D.C. Seriously. Everyone on the invite e-mail was super excited for David’s pie. After just one bite, I knew how he achieved his legendary status. Not only did he bring a delicious pumpkin pie made with homemade pumpkin puree, he also brought the most fantastic pear pie with maple and ginger. I asked for the recipe, but all I got out of him was, “I found it in this cookbook”. Well fine, David. If that’s how you’re going to be…then I’ll just search epicurious.comfor the recipe AND use my gorgeous new deep-fluted Emile Henry pie dish! I hope David doesn’t mind sharing the pie legend status!
6 TBSP (or more) ice water
1 large egg yolk
2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 TBSP granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 lbs. firm but ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, quartered, cored, cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges
1/3 c. pure maple syrup
1/3 c. sugar
2 TBSP quick-cooking tapioca
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
2 TBSP minced crystallized ginger (original recipe calls for 1 TBSP, but I added more)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 TBSP whole milk or half-and-half
1 TBSP sugar
For the crust:
1. Whisk ice water and egg yolk in small bowl to blend.
2. Mix flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add butter. Using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle egg mixture over. Using on/off turns, process until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry.
3. Gather dough together and divide into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten into disks; wrap each disk in plastic and chill 1 hour. (Can be made two days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
For the filling:
1. Position one rack in center and one rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F.
2. Toss first eight ingredients in large bowl to coat.
3. Roll out larger dough disk on lightly floured work surface to 12-inch round. Transfer dough to nine-inch pie dish. Transfer filling to crust.
4. Roll out smaller dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Drape dough over filling. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold overhang under, pressing to seal and forming high-standing rim. Crimp edge decoratively. Brush crust with milk or half-and-half. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Cut several slits in top to allow steam to escape during baking.
5. Place baking sheet on bottom rack to catch any juices that may bubble over. Bake pie on center rack until crust is golden brown and juices bubble thickly, tenting pie with foil if crust browns too quickly, about one hour.
6. Transfer pie to rack and cool. Serve pie slightly warm.