Caramelized Apple and Pear Pie

posted by jacqibay 09-15-100 7:44 PM

Caramelized Apple and Pear Pie
Bon Appetit 1999

1/2 Cup applejack brandy or brandy
1/2 Cup dried currants
2 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 Tbl. unsalted butter
1 1/4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored, cut into 1/3 inch thick wedges
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 pound firm but ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1/3 inch thick wedges
2 Tbl. cornstarch
3/4 Cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 Cup light corn syrup
1/4 Cup whipping cream
3/4 Cup coarsely chopped lightly toasted walnuts
1 Cinnamon Pastry Crust (to follow) chilled
Vanilla ice cream

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350F.

Mix applejack brandy, dried currants, fresh lemon juice and vanilla extract in large bowl. Let mixture stand 15 minutes.

Cook 3 Tbl. unsalted butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat until pale golden, about 3 minutes. Add apple wedges, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Saute until apple wedges are crisp-tender, about 12 minutes. Add apple mixture, pear wedges and 2 Tbl. cornstarch to currant mixture; toss to coat.

Mix golden brown sugar, corn syrup, whipping cream and remaining 2 T unsalted butter in heavy small saucepan. Boil over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, stirring until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stir in chopped walnuts. Add to fruit mixture. Toss to coat.

Transfer warm filling to prepared crust. Bake 30 minutes. Tent pie with foil. Bake pie until apples and pears are tender and liquid bubbles thickly, about 45 minutes longer. Cool pie on rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.

Cinnamon Pastry Crust:
1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1/3 Cup walnuts, toasted
2 Tbl. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Tbl. chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Tbl. (or more) ice water

Blend flour, nuts, sugar, cinnamon and salt in processor until nuts are coarsely ground. Add chilled butter and vegetable shortening. Using on/off turns, process until coarse crumbs form. Add 2 Tbl. ice water. Process dough until small moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap dough disk in plastic. Refrigerate until cold enough to roll out, about 30 minutes.

Roll out dough on floured work surface to 12" round. Transfer dough to 9" diameter glass pie dish. Press dough into dish. Fold overhang under. Crimp edges decoratively. Cover and chill until cold, about 30 minutes. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

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