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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pear-Raspberry Pie

Jason has been going to the Farmers Market on Saturdays a lot here lately. He tries to come home with something new every week. This week he brought home some pears. I love pears, just by themselves usually, but we wanted to do something special with these pears. We were invited to a friends house for dinner this week and decided to make a dessert with the pears. This recipe is what we found. I'll tell you straight forward, this recipe takes a long time, but it is totally worth it! It can be made with the shingled crust or a solid crust with decorative vent holes... So give a try, you won't regret it ;)


All-purpose flour for dusting
Pate Brisee (recipe to follow)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 ripe, firm Bartlett pears (about 3 pounds), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch slices (I used the pears from the Farmers Market, I have no idea what kind they were...)
8 ounces of fresh raspberries (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk, for egg wash
1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
extra sugar for sprinkling

To make the shingled crust: On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to a 13-inch round. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate, and trim dough, leaving a 1/4 inch overhang (reserve the scraps). Chill until firm, about 30 minutes or so. Roll out second disk of dough to about 1/8 inch thick. With a 2-inch cookie cutter (any shape of your choosing, I used a basic round one for this), cut out about 48 "shingles" (or as many as you can get, I didn't even use all of mine...), using scraps from bottom crust if needed. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill till firm, about 30 minutes.

*If wanting to make a solid crust with cut out vents: Follow the same directions but on the second round of dough just cut out a pattern with your cookie cutter or free hand. Then transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and chill.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon. Add pears, raspberries and lemon juice, and gently toss to coat. Spoon mixture into pie shell, piling fruit in the center. Dot with butter. Tuck the overhang under, flush with the rim. Brush edge lightly with water. Arrange shingles around edge of pie: Press lightly onto edge overlapping slightly. Repeat till pie is covered leaving a small opening in the middle. Combine egg yolk and water in small bowl. Brush pie crust with egg wash, then sprinkle with extra sugar. Chill pie till firm, about 30 minutes.

*For the solid crust with cut out vents: Do not tuck under edges of crust, brush the edges lightly with water, then drape the top crust over filling, centering your design. Trim the dough, leaving 1/2 inch overhang. Tuck overhang under bottom crust even with the rim, then crimp the edge. Lightly brush egg wash over entire pie and sprinkle with sugar. Chill till firm about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in lowest third of oven. Place pie on parchment lined baking sheet (you will have over spill), and bake until crust is a golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 85 more minutes till crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling. Transfer to a wire rack and cool before serving.

Goes great with wiped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Pate Brisee (a.k.a. pie crust):


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup cold ice water
**Make sure all of the ingredients are cold before you begin**

Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor (or whisk together by hand in a bowl). Add butter, and pulse (or quickly cut with a pastry blender or your fingertips) until mixture resembles coarse meal, with some larger pieces remaining. Drizzle 1/4 cup ice water over mixture. Pulse (or mix with a fork) until mixture just begins to hold together. If dough is too dry, add 1/4 cup more, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse (or mix with a fork).

Divide dough in half onto two pieces of plastic wrap. Gather into two balls, wrap loosely in plastic, press into a disk using a rolling pin. Refrigerate till firm, well wrap in plastic, 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Zucchini and Corn Casserole

With the garden overflowing with zucchini and squash, we are trying to find as many different dishes to make with these garden treasures. This is a different approach to regular old squash casserole and can easily be adjusted to fit your needs. For us I added extra black pepper for a little zing :)


1 1/5 pounds small zucchini
One 8 ounce can cream style corn
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 small onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Paprika to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook zucchini in boiling salted water until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, cut into chunks, and combine with corn and eggs. Meanwhile, saute onions and bell pepper in butter until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and corn mixture; add salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top (more if you like), then sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly.

Serves 4 to 5