Spiced Apple and Pear Pie
A perfect pie to bake when the fall harvest of apples and pears is available. The blend of apple, pear, lemon zest, and warm spices makes a winning pie. Make a Classic Pie Pastry if you prefer, or this extra special Sweet Butter Egg Pastry.
Recipe type: Dessert | Fruit Pie
Serves: 6 to 8
Pan: One 9" Pie Pastry: Sweet Butter Egg Pastry Prep: Chilled, Unbaked Starting Oven Temp: 400° Storage: Covered, Cool Place or Refrigerate
Sweet Butter Egg Pastry:
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg
- 4 to 6 tablespoons cold water
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
- 3 large tart baking apples, such as Granny Smith
- 3 large Bartlett or Bosc pears
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Tip: Use a citrus zester for fresh zest.
- Approximately 1 teaspoon milk (preferably whole milk)
- Approximately 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Sweet Butter Egg Pastry:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt; whisk together to mix. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a small bowl, combine egg and 4 tablespoons water; beat the egg with a wire whisk or fork until frothy. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture, mixing until all the flour is moistened and forms a ball. If the dough seems too crumbly, add the additional water (or a little more) if necessary.
- Divide dough in half; gently pat each half into a 6 inch disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- On a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board, and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll one of the chilled pastries from the center out into a circle about 8 or 9 inches in diameter. Gently pick the pastry up, lightly re-flour the work surface, and replace the pastry upside down. Continue rolling the pastry into a 12 to 14 inch diameter circle.
- Transfer the pastry to a pie pan; gently press the pastry to the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Trim the pastry to ½ inch beyond the edge of the pie pan.
- Roll out remaining pastry about 14 inches in diameter, or at least 2 inches larger in diameter than the filled pie. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine granulated sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Set aside.
- Peel, core, and slice apples and pears, about ¼ inches thick. Toss apples and pears into sugar mixture, stir until well mixed. Sprinkle vanilla extract over apple and pear mixture, stir until well mixed.
- Spread apple and pear mixture in the pastry-lined pie pan. Cover filling with the top pastry and flute the edges. Cut slits in the top pastry to allow steam to escape. If desired, cut decorative shapes out of pastry scraps and lay on top of pastry.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush milk over top pastry and fluted edges, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar.
- Bake: Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F. Bake an additional 60 minutes, or until the apple and pear juices are bubbling and the crust is a golden brown. Tip: During baking, if crust is getting too brown, loosely place a piece of foil over the top to prevent the crust from over-browning.
- Remove from oven. Cool on a wire cooling rack before cutting and serving.
Tip: Fruit pies are juicy and usually bubble over; bubbling fruit juices are very sticky and can be hard to clean up. There are a few solutions for easy clean up. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with foil or parchment paper. If using foil, grease the foil for easier removal, or juices that have bubbled over will cause the foil to stick to the bottom of the pan. Discard the paper or foil along with the spilled juices after baking. Or, place a non-stick baking mat on top of un-greased foil, curve up the edges of the foil to keep the juices from spilling onto the floor of the oven, and place the pie directly on the baking mat. Or, place a drip pan lined with foil on a lower oven rack underneath the pie while it is baking to catch the juices when they bubble over.