Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fresh Pear Pie

I think if the recipe boxes of older ladies in the world (say ages 75 and up...) were scoured, there would be a wealth of fabulous recipes to be found. Some of the very best recipes that I have, are from these dear little women who have collected recipes for more years than I've been alive. This is one of those wonderful recipes that comes from an adorable little 90-year-old lady that lives around the corner from me. I like to go visit her on occasion and she almost always has something tasty to give me or my kids while we are there. I always beg the recipe from her and she is always so sweet to share. She carefully writes down the recipe on a card and gives it to me the next time I see her. The first time she gave me this recipe, I lost it a few months later and I happened to mention it to her how sad I was about that. To my surprise, the next time I saw her she had once again, carefully re-written it down by hand for me. I told you she was sweet.

Honestly. I cannot stop dreaming about this pie. I normally do not post recipes that use white sugar or white flour. I try to stay away from those kinds of refined ingredients for every day eating, but they still have their place in my kitchen for some recipes and of course special occasions. Pie crust is one of those things that's hard to convert to be whole grain. It was kind of like white rolls for me until I discovered these cornmeal crescent rolls that do use some whole-grain flour so I could feel an itsy bitsy bit more justified in my white-roll-love. I just kind of need a flaky pie crust and I'm sorry but whole grain crusts just don't speak to me. Please tell me you have the answer to this dilemma with the perfect whole grain crust...I'd love to fix my aversion and live happily ever after. Until then, I'm going to post (today) and enjoy (once and a while) my white crust pies. It may not be the healthiest recipe, but it's definitely some honest-to-goodness home-made-with-love healthy-for-the-soul real food.

I have been successful with adapting some pie fillings to use honey, and I actually haven't tried with this recipe.  The main reason is because it's so perfect as it is. Maybe I will in the future and if I do, I promise to update this recipe. But until then....here is the perfect white flour, white sugar beautiful fresh pear pie in all it's deliciousness and glory. I hope you will create a special occasion today to make and eat it. It needs you. And you need it. And the lovely smell coming out of your oven while its baking is almost as good as eating it. Well not really, but it really is dreamy. People coming to your house will be mad if you don't share. It smells like a home. And when you taste it, it tastes like all things wonderful. If the pears came from your own trees so much the better. If they didn't that's okay too, but make sure they are ripe. It really will make all the difference. If your pears are green, let them sit for a few days in a cool, dark place and they will ripen up just beautifully. You can also make this recipe with drained, canned pears. I've done it and it works great, but will not be quite as tasty. And I'm warning you, once you've had it with fresh pears, you will never be able to go back to canned.

Fresh Pear Pie
Printable Recipe

*Makes one 9" pie

1/2 Cup + 1/4 Cup butter, divided
1 Cup + 4 Tbsp. all-purpose white flour, divided
1 Tbsp.+1 Cup white sugar, divided
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 large fresh ripe pears, peeled and sliced

Preheat oven to 325 F. Melt 1/2 Cup of the butter. In a medium bowl, mix melted butter with 1 Cup of the flour and 1 Tbsp. sugar to form a ball.  Press dough into a 9" pie pan.

Soften 1/4 Cup of butter. In a medium bowl, mix softened butter with 1 Cup of white sugar, 4 Tbsp. white flour, 2 eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix until well combined.

Place peeled and sliced pears on top of dough in pie pan and pour custard mixture over top. Bake in preheated 325 F oven for 80 to 90 minutes (1 hour 20-30 minutes) or until top is crusty and lightly brown and inside filling has set.

Recipe Source: Slightly adapted from recipe given to me by Julia R., a dear friend and neighbor

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