Monday, January 31, 2011

Back in the Game!

Pies.  I never liked pie as a kid.  I would always just pass on dessert when it was offered (unless it was chocolate cream).  I don't even know when it was that I actually tried pie with an open mind for the first time.  A few years ago I must have changed my mind, though, because I began making pies - specifically pear pies.  A coworker of mine brought in a pear/ginger pie and I loved it and have made my own version ever since.  My grandparents have a very bounteous pear tree in their backyard and this is usually what I do with the pears they give us.
This past week in our CSA box, we got 6 pears.  I decided I might embark upon pie once again.  It had been awhile.  Over the summer I made a few pies and they were all spectacular flops.  Most were made sort of spur-of-the-moment with whatever fruit/berries I had on hand and experimental pies appear to be a huge risk.  I disappointedly gave up on pie making for awhile.  Usually, since I don't have a lot of time with my two small boys, I just buy store-bought crust and throw together a filling.  My husband is not particular, so it works.  This is complete and total sacrilege to my mother, who insists that one should always make crust from scratch.  She is so insistent that she didn't even want to taste my pie when she found out I didn't make the crust.
I decided in order to get my pie-mojo back, I was going to take the time to make the crust and put some serious TLC into this pie.  I also decided that one of my major hang-ups to crust-making is the shortening.  Shortening is disgusting.  So, thanks to Smitten Kitchen, I found a lovely butter-only crust with lots of very clear, hand-holdy directions. 
I officially declare that I am back in the game!  The pie turned out great!  It took half my day, but it turned out great!  I truly think that pear/ginger is the best pie combination out there.  Pears are so delicate when baked into a pie - they have a texture that is like velvet, BUT they are bland.  Adding some fresh grated ginger gives it a warm zip that is so satisfying.  When I make pies, I tend to just throw a bunch of stuff in a bowl and hope it turns out, but today I paid closer attention so that I could pass this on because I truly believe if you try pear/ginger pie, you will be hooked!
Danielle's Pear and Ginger Pie Filling
6-7 large d'anjou pears (or about 9 smaller ones), halved then sliced
1-2 tsp fresh ginger (you decide how spicy you want it)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbls lemon juice
2 Tbls butter melted
2 Tbls sugar
3 Tbls flour
Combine all ingredients.  Place inside 9" pie crust and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Here's the postscript: My boys were very interested in helping me roll out the pie crust.  The older one kept demanding pieces of it to eat (he is a dough-aholic) and the younger one thought it was great fun to eat handfuls of flour or sweep all of the flour onto the kitchen floor.  The picture does not do the mess justice.  A bath afterward was definitely in order.  I do so love kitchen "help."

No comments:

Post a Comment