Farmstead Chef: Pear Crumb Pie

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I can honestly say I’ve never had a pear pie before.  Actually never anything baked with pears in it.  I’ve always eaten them plain.  So when I saw this recipe in the Farmstead Chef I knew I had to try it.  This pie is reminiscent of a Dutch apple pie with a different taste to it.  To me it does taste like pears, more so on the second day but everyone else said they couldn’t tell a difference between it and an apple pie. 
One more thing, you shouldn’t make pie crust with coconut oil.  (The pie crust recipe listed is one I’ve always used and it turns out great.  If you want it flakier, replace half of the cold water with ice cold vodka.  While vodka won’t flavor the crust it does completely evaporate while baking, thus ensuring a very flaky crust.)  It doesn’t turn out like you’d expect.  The dough was really elastic rolling it out and while not exactly tough when baked it definitely didn’t have a regular pie crust texture.  I’ve been trying to find a great recipe to use with coconut oil as we’ll be having a giveaway soon. 
Pear Crumb Pie
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
½ cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
6 cups pears peeled and thinly sliced (about 6 large pears, 3 lb.)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup unsalted butter
To make pie crust: 1 cup flour, ½ teaspoon salt and 1/3 cup shortening or unsalted butter.  Mix flour and salt in medium bowl, then using pastry cutter work in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Then add 3-4 tablespoons ice water, making sure to use just enough to bring dough together.  Don’t over wet dough.  Roll out to fit pie pan.  Crimp edges.
To make pie:  Combine all but last three ingredients; spoon into pie crust.  Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. 

For topping:  Combine flour and brown sugar.  Cut in butter till crumbly.  Sprinkle over filling.  Bake 40 minutes longer.  Cover edges of crust with foil for the last 15 minutes if browning too quickly.

Don’t be alarmed when you take it out of the oven to put the crumb topping on because they pie will look incredibly juicy.

My pie didn’t brown enough for me to cover the edges while baking.  But make sure to keep an eye on yours just in case.  The pie kept extremely well and I’ll probably be baking it again with a regular pie crust.

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