Monday, November 19, 2007

Less Kissing, More Cooking

Now that I am about to be in my family's way, I need to start thinking about my contributions to the big meal. Last year, my parents, brother and grandfather came to Chicago and since it was my kitchen, I felt like I could take more liberties with the recipes. This year, as previously discussed, I'm headed back to Memphis and to a kitchen that I would never so much as dream to coup. That doesn't mean I will be keeping to my own, everybody has to have a job. I always always make crustless sweet potato pie (saving THAT recipe for Wednesday) but this year we're doing pie with the rest of the 'hood after dinner and I am carefully considering my submission. What do we think of Pear-Cranberry Pie? I do loooove cranberries (The Cranberries as well).
*Courtesy of


Makes one 9-inch pie

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • Pate Brisee
  • 5 ripe Bartlett pears (2 1/2 pounds; Bosc or Anjou can be substituted)
  • 6 cups (24 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves


  1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll 1 disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Fit into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Trim edges flush with rim. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. On a piece of lightly floured parchment paper, roll out remaining disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Top with an inverted 9-inch pie plate or a cake ring, and gently press to make a light indentation (this will be your guide for cutting the lattice to fit the pie). Using a 3/4-inch square cutter, cut a lattice pattern out of the round, leaving at least 1/2 inch between cutouts and edge of round. Transfer squares to a parchment-lined baking sheet. To make partial squares where the lattice meets the rounded edge, make a very light indentation with the cutter, then cut out the portion of the square that is inside the round with a knife. Using a paring knife or a pizza cutter, cut out the round, leaving an additional 1/2 inch of dough beyond the marked circle. Reroll scraps, and cut out as many additional squares as possible. Transfer parchment with the lattice top to a baking sheet. Refrigerate lattice top and squares for 1 hour.

  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with racks in middle and lower positions. Peel, halve, and core pears. Very thinly slice 3 pears lengthwise, and cut remaining 2 pears into 8 wedges each.
  4. Toss together pears, cranberries, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl. Using the tip of a paring knife, scrape vanilla seeds over pear mixture, and toss until seeds have been evenly incorporated. Pour filling into piecrust, gently pressing to make it as level as possible. Dot filling with butter.
  5. To make egg wash, whisk together egg yolk and cream in a small bowl. Lightly brush edge of piecrust with egg wash. Remove lattice crust and squares from refrigerator. Gently place another baking sheet on top of lattice, and carefully invert. Slide lattice on top of filling, and remove parchment. Gently press edges of crust to seal, trimming edges of lattice if necessary.
  6. Lightly brush lattice with egg wash.

    Arrange dough squares around edge of pie, overlapping them slightly. Lightly brush top of each square with egg wash as you work to help them adhere.

  7. Place a foil-lined baking sheet on lower oven rack to catch any juices. Place pie on middle rack, and bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling gently, 90 to 100 minutes. Tent with foil if crust browns too quickly. Let pie cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, heat preserves in a saucepan over medium heat until warm. Puree in a food processor until smooth. Press through a fine sieve into a bowl or another saucepan, and reheat if necessary. Brush warm pie with a generous amount of warm apricot glaze. Let cool completely on rack.


Susie said...

That looks amazing!! I'm making Martha's apple pie this year :)

DG said...

Pear and cranberry are always a fall favorite. Although, i have a super yummy recipe for a pumpin chiffon (mousse) pie that was a show stopper 2 years ago.

Gjelly said...

That looks yummy! Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to bring anything to Thanksgiving this year... don't even get me started. :-) I'll have to try the pie another time.

ToKissTheCook said...

Susie- Let me know how that goes, I'm jealous of your proximity to extra-sharp Vermont cheddar to go alongside!

Dora- As former pastry chef at the 4 Seasons, we're gonna need that. Email it to me and I will insert you as a Guest Chef contributor.

G- In Pursuit of Grey is fabulous and I'm glad you found me. Not allowed? Flowers? Flowers are always allowed.

Gjelly said...

Thanks! I was only banned from bringing I guess flowers would work! I suppose wine would be ok too...