Spiced Apple and Pear Pie

This pie is everything we love about apple pies, but even better. The pears add extra depth, juice, and flavor, and it's gorgeous on top[ of that. What more could you ask for?]

Total Time:
2 hr 30 min
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
30 min
Cook:
1 hr 30 min

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Dough:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), diced
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons very cold water
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 pounds baking apples, such as Golden Delicious, Cortland, or Mutsu (about 6 apples)
  • 1 1/2 pounds baking pears, such as Bosc or firm Bartletts (about 3 pears)
  • 2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • Generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Dough:
Directions
Dough:

Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Rub 1/4 cup of the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until completely absorbed. Then rub in the remaining butter until it resembles cornmeal mixed with pea-size bits of butter. (If it gets warm and sticky, refrigerate it to chill.)

Beat the egg with 3 tablespoons of the water; then drizzle it evenly over the dough. Lightly stir the dough together with a fork. (The dough should just hold together when you squeeze it together, with some dry crumbly bits.) If the dough is really dry, sprinkle it with the final tablespoon of water. (To make the dough in food processor, see below.)

Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap and shape into disks. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. (The dough can be frozen for 2 months. Defrost dough in the fridge overnight.)

Filling:

Finely grate the lemon zest and set aside. Peel, core and then slice both the apple and pear into 1/2-inch slices. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fruit, then toss fruit with the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fruit and cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves and juices simmer, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, until the fruit softens and the juices evaporate some, about 10 minutes. Evenly mix the flour into the fruit; then cook about a minute more to thicken the juices slightly. Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest; and remove from the heat. (The filling should resemble a tight compote.) Cool completely.

Form the pie:

Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Roll a disk of dough into an 11 to 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to 9-inch glass pie pan (see photo), trimming so it hangs about 1/2-inch over the edge of the pan. Fill the crust with the prepared fruit so it mounds slightly in the center. Roll the remaining dough into a 12-inch circle. Brush the rim of the crust with some of the egg.

Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and unroll it over the fruit so it hangs over the edge of the pie pan by about 1/2-inch. Trim crust if needed, reserving the scraps for decorations or for patching, if needed. Fold the top crust edge under the bottom one, then press the edges together to seal. Cut trimmed scraps into designs if desired and set aside. Flute the crust by pressing a finger into the crust against the other hand's index finger and thumb to make an even impression. Repeat every 1/2 inch around the pie to create a ruffled edge (see photo). Refrigerate the pie for at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 425 degrees F.

Brush pie with egg and place cut dough designs on top if desired. Brush again and sprinkle with sugar. Cut 6 to 8 small steam vents into the top of the dough. Place pie on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake until the crust (both top and bottom) is golden brown, about 50 minutes more. If the edges begin to brown too quickly, cut a pie shield out of a piece of aluminum foil and cover the edges (see photo). Cool on a rack.

Serve pie warm or at room temperature with whipped or ice cream. Keep pie, covered, at room temperature for a day, or refrigerate for up to four.

Cook's Note: To make the dough in a food processor: Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt together in the bowl of the processor. Add a 1/4 cup of the butter and pulse until it resembles fine cornmeal. Add the remaining butter and pulse until the butter is in small pea-sized pieces. Beat the egg and 3 tablespoons of the water together, add and pulse 1 to 2 times, but don't let the dough form into a ball in the machine (see photo). If the dough is dry add pulse in the other tablespoon of water. Remove the blade and turn dough onto a large, sheet of plastic film. Use the sides of the film to bring the dough together, then wrap tightly to chill.

Busy Bakers' Tips: The filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated. The pie can be fully formed, except for brushing with egg and dusting with sugar, and frozen. Place the pie in the freezer for 30 minutes, to harden it slightly, and then double wrap it with plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, unwrap the pie and brush it with egg and sprinkle with sugar. If baking from the frozen state, following baking temperatures above, the pie may need to bake slightly longer at 375 degrees F, about 1 hour 25 minutes.

For a different finish, top with several slices of sharp cheddar cheese, and melt under the broiler for 2 minutes.

Copyright 2007 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved


CATEGORIES:
View All

Cooking Tips
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Loading review filters...
BROWSE REVIEWS BY KEYWORD

    35 Reviews
    4 35
    0/1000 characters
    Your Rating:
    (Required)
    Sort by: 
    I've made this pie three times and it has come out great each time (and always to rave reviews!). It has become my "go-to" pie.
    This pie was perfect for Thanksgiving. I used cardamon in stead of cinnamon and went heavy on the pears and light on the apples. Alton Brown's pie crust recipe gave it a rustic and extremely flaky crust.
    Absolutely great. As some suggested, I added a whole lemon's worth of zest and juice, doubled the vanilla extract, and put 1/3 brown sugar+ 2/3 organic white sugar. The filling was just perfect.
    This pie was outstanding. I made it for my guests at the Soup for the Soul soup kitchen I manage at the House of Hope Shelter in Cottage Hills, IL. They loved it and want me to make it some more. I used home canned Bosch pears instead of fresh, but it was still perfect.
    This turned out GREAT! Cold crust dough was a little hard to roll out at first--much crumbling/breaking--but got easier as it warmed up. Wanted the filling to be more pear-esque than apple-y so adjusted amount to 6 pears & 5 apples. BTW, didn't cook pear #6--just sliced it really thin & added after the filling had cooled for extra texture. Also used zest & juice of a whole lemon instead of 1/2 & doubled the vanilla. Next time, plan to change the pear/apple ratio again; want even more pears so the apples don't dominate as much. Delish! 
    The crust came are really well, perfect. The filling was good to, it was really sweet... I took the advise of another reviewer and added cranberries... every one loved the pie it was trally a big hit.
    This pie is absolutely delicious! Made it today and we're eating it right now. This was the first crust I made from scratch and it was easy and came out great. I would definitely recommend this recipe!
    I have to be honest I was skeptical, but it was really great...I used my own no fail pie crust recipe though. Thinking that the filling would be great to can and give in a gift basket along with my favorite crust recipe and some other little goodies as a gift exchange or hostess gift for the upcoming holiday celebrations.
    I made this pie twice this past week. Plan on making for my Thanksgiving dinner and wanted to make a dry run 1st. Well it was so delicious I made it twice for my coworkers and all of them loved it. It is the best pie I have eaten or made, The crust is awsome. I even cut out little fall leaves with mini cookie cutters and placed on top. beautiful presentation! You need to make this pie NOW. it is to die for.
    I just made this recipe tonight and I love this recipe only different is I use banana filling instead. The crust was easy for me to do and I will keep it. I have made pie crust before with a different recipe and I always fail at it. This was delish, easy and very tasty. I surprised myself that I actually didn't screw this one up. I will definitely make it again perhaps with the apples & pears. :)
    Absolutely amazing! Crust was delicious and the filling wasn't overpowering, but just right. This is definitely one of my new favorites to make! :)
    Very tasty,let me tell you! More delicious than expected! My sister who doesn't even like pears loved it! I had a bunch of Asian pears that I needed to use so had more pears than apples,but it turned out delightful! I did use the whole (lemon,juice and zest) which was perfect and which did not over power.Loved the crust,perfect seasoning,just perfect! I believe it will be gone by tonight!
    I made this for thanksgiving also and it was immediately finished!!! I cant wait to make it again
    I made this pie for thanksgiving and got wonderful reviews. The pie was gone before I knew it. The crust was GREAT! This was the first time that I make a pie or crust and it came out perfect!
    Loved the pear in the filling, it made a great Thanksgiving dessert. This was really convenient too - I cooked the filling early in the day as suggested in the recipe. Popped it together and into the oven when dinner was served, so a warm pie was ready just when we were ready for it. Yummy!
    My husband and my neighbors LOVED this recipe. It was the first time I ever cooked a pie filling prior to baking the pie. This was a test run for Thanksgiving and the in-laws it was a resounding success. This may have just replaced by tried and true apple pie recipe.
    Oh My Gosh!!!! This is the best pie ever!!! My husband took one bite and said "OH MY". After he finished the 1st piece he had a 2nd one.
     
    Very, very good.
    cranberries! I added about 3/4 cup of dried cranberries with the apples and pears. And quite a bit more cinnamon.
    What is wrong with some of the people having such a time with the pie crust? Make sure the water is "ice water"(ice cubes in a cup of water) is the key the water must be cold. Perhaps with a little practice they would see how easy it is to makie a pie crust.
     

     
    I received rave reviews when I made this pie. I am not changing one thing with this recipe.
     

     
    This pie was DELICIOUS! The crust and the filling was very, very good. Will definitely be making it again. As a matter of fact I am making this pie today.
    I followed the advice about the spices and doubled the cinnamon and vanilla. My family loved the pie!!
    I made this pie for thanksgiving dessert. It was a big hit. I like the fact that it wasn't too, too sweet. Sometimes apple pies are too sweet. This was just right. You could add a little more on the spices, why not. The dough, I would agree was very difficult to roll out. If you have a dough recipe that is better I would use that one. I am a novice so I had a hard time. I will make it again for sure.
    I made this a week ago for a church potluck, and it was reasonably well liked. I agree with Stephanie from Hesperia, CA, it needs more of a kick in flavour...so boost the spices. Finishing with sharp cheddar cheese on this one adds a little something as well (optional suggestion in recipe). I wouldn't bother with brushing the rim of the crust with the egg or rolling out the crust from your rolling pin. C'mon people, just roll out the crust, pick it up, place, and press. When it comes to pie crust, maintaining a well floured surface is your best bet.
    The pie was ok, I would suggest increasing the spices in it as my family felt that it was a little flat on flavor.
    I agree with the other reviewers of this recipe that:
     

     
    1. The crust was flaky, but tasty (I had to make the crust twice because the recipe wasnt specific enough to me about how the texture of the dough shouldve been before i put it in the fridge..the first dough I made was too mushy/wet for some reason.. the second time it was find b/c I didnt massage the butter too much in the flour). I also agree with others that said rolling out the dough was a bit difficult.. omg! but i got through it!
     
    2. The recipe took a looong time to make (It too 3 1/2 hours the first night, then the second morning it took me another 2 hours at least). I made the filling & dough and put both in the fridge overnight.
     
    3. I loved the tip about putting aluminum foil on the parts that may burn fast! Came in handy!
     
    4. The recipe calls for me to buy apples and pears that are a bit tight (rough)..however, the apples I bought werent too tough (that was actually a good thing).. the pears were obviously more tough (not a good thing). When I made the filling the apples and pears were kinda hard to mix so that all of them were cooked evenly.. so some of the pears were undercooked and the apples were done perfectly. I used by really big calphalon skillet.. trust me, there isnt anything bigger than that!
    I made this today using a different piecrust recipe. The ratio of pears to apples was probably more pear to apple but less than the total which was asked for. The filling was absolutely fantastic. I will definitely make this again but might use it to spoon over ice cream vs in a pie as even with vents it was very soupy and it was extremely tight after I cooked it prior to baking.
    The pie was easy to make, but I didn't enjoy the flavors as much as I thought I would. The pie itself was alright, but I didn't enjoy the filling.
    Overall, this pie was just OK. It took much longer than expected to make, and the dough was VERY diffult to work with. The crust was not worth all the work. The fillng was very easy, but next time I would use more pear- as I could mostly taste the apples.
    The filling was incredibly delicious and very easy to make. Rolling out the dough was pretty difficult. Overall, the final product looked and tasted great.
    My family was invited to a holiday party and was asked to bring a dessert. I made this for the first time and it was great. I received alot of compliments on my pie, everything from flavor to the pie crust. Definate winner!
    A lot of work, but worth it!
    Flag as inappropriate

    Thank you! your flag was submitted.

    This recipe is featured in:

    Thanksgiving Desserts: Pies and Beyond