Friday, October 4, 2013

Apple and Pear Pie with Cinnamon Crumble Topping

Have I mentioned that I like pie? No, that's not quite accurate...I LOVE pie!! By far my favorite desert, and of all the great pies out there, apple is top of the list for me. What can I say, I'm all about the classics! So you can imagine that when the local apples started to arrive that I was immediately asking my wife to bake me one. Then the other day I get home from work and the house smelled like heaven! Butter, cinnamon and apple scents floated through the air to my nose the moment walked in the door. What a fantastic (and absolutely delicious) surprise to come home to! 

In addition to the apples, we had some Asian pears laying around from a family trip to a pick your own orchard a little while back, so she combined them with the apples to add another nice flavor to the mix. Additionally, the pears remained crisper after baking, giving a nice bit of crunch to the final pie that complimented the soft apples well.

The recipe below was adapted from Bon Appetit.

Pie Crust Ingredients
2.5 cups flour
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup chilled butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup of ice cold water

Pie Crust Preparation
Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and mix to combine.  Add the butter and process until the mixture forms into a coarse crumb texture. With the machine running, slowly pour 1/4 cup of water into the feed tube until the dough just holds together when you pinch it between your fingers. Add more water if necessary to achieve this. Try to minimize the processing time to no more than 30 seconds if possible. Dump the dough out onto your counter and divide in half. Form each pile into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before using. Once properly chilled, take one disk out of the fridge (freeze the other for another day) and place it on a floured work surface. Gently roll out the disk to a 12-14 inch circle.

Filling Ingredients
1 1/4 pounds Granny Smith (or other tart) apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 1/4 pounds Asian pears, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbs flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp powdered ginger
1 tbs unsalted butter, melted

Filling Preparation
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until the apples and pears are well coated.

Topping Ingredients
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
6 tsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Topping Preparation
Blend the flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt in a food processor. Add the butter cubes and pulse the mixer to mix in the butter until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Final Assembly
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the rolled out pie crust in a 9 inch pie plate, crimping the edge. Give the filling a last stir and then pour into the crust, mounding in the center. Distribute the topping evenly over the filling, packing it lightly into place. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake until the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until the filling is bubbling thickly at edges, about 45 minutes longer. Cool for at least an hour before serving.

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