Pears, along with herbs, are the perfect combination for a yummy twist on a classic favorite. Their mild flavor paired with the tartness of the apples bring you warm fuzzies that are a wonderful part of the holidays.
In all honesty though, I think this is the best apple pie I’ve ever made.
You may choose whatever apples and pears you see fit, or you may not have a choice for what’s in season and available at your local grocer, but in this case, I used Bartlett pears from Washington, and Pink Lady apples.
Begin by making the crust– you may make it the day of, or several days before. As long as it’s nice and chilled, it will be easier to work with.
CRUST: (will be enough to make a bottom and top crust)
2 and 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
6 Tablespoons (90 grams) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
3/4 cup (154 grams) vegetable shortening, chilled
1/2 -2/3 cups (120-160 ml) ice water
1 egg white whisked with a few tablespoons of water
1 Tbs. coarse sugar (turbinado sugar)
Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Add cold butter and shortening. Use a pastry blender or fork to mash together. Mix should resemble a course meal. Slowly add ice water until and continue blending until dough is just coming together. Not too sticky. Not too flaky. Roll into two equal sized balls chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Take out one ball of dough and lay it on a lightly floured surface. With a rolling pin, roll dough flat and large enough to cover a 9″ pie plate with room to spare. Rotate the dough as you roll so it will be a more even circle. Gently wrap dough around the end of the rolling pin and lift it into your pie plate.
After you have prepared the filling, you could get out the second ball of dough and continue with the same process. The reason I would leave the second ball chilling is because if you want to make it “pretty” for the top of the pie, it’s best to work with while the fats are still cold. As you work with it, the fats will melt, making the dough harder to shape and cut. Trust me on this!
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 pears, cored and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon brandy
3 Tbs. of butter, cut into pats
Sprinkle’s worth of cinnamon/sugar
Pinch of salt
PREHEAT OVEN TO 400ºF
Whisk sugar and cornstarch together in a bowl. Add the sliced pieces of fruit and toss until well coated. Add thyme, juice, and brandy-stir again.
Pour into pie plate and top with butter pats, cinnamon/sugar and salt. Make sure to evenly spread the last ingredients so you don’t end up getting a mouthful of salty surprise when biting into one corner slice of pie.
Side note— I was really excited to use my new pie dish that I ordered from Amazon for Christmas. It says it was made in Poland, so maybe I should relabel this post as Polish Apple Pie 😉
Set pie aside and get second ball of dough out of the fridge. Roll out onto lightly floured surface until round disc is big enough to cover the top of the pie dish. Using a knife, or pastry wheel, cut long strips, about half an inch thick, across the entire piece.
Using a lattice weave technique, place the strips on top of the pie and weave accordingly. I’m not very good at explaining how to do this the best way, as I’m still mastering it myself, BUT I will include a few instructional videos that will hopefully help!
Here’s another great site to help, too!
Also, if you happen to have a small handful of dough leftover, you could get creative and use a cookie cutter to put a fun finishing touch on top, like I did! Notice the apple in the middle 🙂
Whisk together egg white and water, and using a pastry brush, sweep across the lattice top until completely covered. Dash cinnamon and course sugar on top as well to your heart’s desire. Finish off the edges with a fork to give it a finished look.
Bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Reduce the heat to 375ºF and remove pie. Cover the edges with tin foil and return to the oven to bake for another 30 minutes until middle is bubbling.
Then what you should do is Instagram the crap out of it and tag me in it so I can see your beautiful creations. Happy baking!!!
You guys I need more of this in my life— seriously!