Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and for some, that means stress over finding the ultimate recipes for the most succulent turkey, the creamiest potatoes, the fluffiest rolls, and the most perfect pies. I know we all have our family favorites–the recipes that simply cannot be changed. But to me, there is always room for something new and intriguing. This pear pie with maple and ginger could be just that.
I first shared it way back in 2008. I’d had it at a party with some college friends and just adored it. I still do. Actually, it may just may be my favorite fruit pie. Since my original post, I’ve made a few small changes. I’ve swapped out the crust in the original for my tried and true recipe, changed up the way the pears are cut, and added a bit of cinnamon. With these simple changes, this pie has hit a new level. In my humble opinion, it is absolutely worthy of being on the Thanksgiving table. In fact, it may just steal the show.
Pear Pie with Maple and Ginger
adapted from epicurious
pie crust from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook
For the crust:
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. granulated sugar (I like to use vanilla sugar)
1 c. (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 to 1/2 c. ice water, less 1 TBSP
1 TBSP chilled vodka
For the pie:
3 lbs. firm, ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, and chopped into 1/2-in. cubes
1/3 c. pure maple syrup
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 TBSP flour
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP quick-cooking tapioca
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 TBSP minced crystallized ginger
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 TBSP half and half
1 TBSP turbinado sugar
1. To make the pie crust, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture and process until the mixture resembles coarse sand, about ten seconds.
2. With the machine running, add the vodka and water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube, just until the dough holds together, no more than 30 seconds.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, divide into two equal pieces, and shape into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour before using, up to two days.
4. To make the pie, position one rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375° F.
5. In a large bowl, toss together the pears, sugar, syrup, flour, cornstarch, tapioca, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla, and ginger until pieces are evenly coated.
6. On a floured work surface, roll out one disk of pie dough and fit into a deep dish pie plate. Pour filling into crust.
7. Roll out top crust, cut a design, if desired, and use a rolling pin to place on top of pie. Crimp edges to seal, then brush with half and half and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
8. Place the pie on a baking sheet, then bake until crust is golden and juices are thick and bubbling, about 1 hour. If the edges brown too quickly, tent with foil.
9. Transfer pie to a rack to cool and set, about 1 hour. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.