As my travel around the state gets busier and busier, I find myself spending more time in Des Moines. And while the time away from home can at times be hard…there have definitely been some perks! For one, I am racking up all kinds of points at the Sheraton…and dining in some great restaurants…and heck, earning rewards there too. But more importantly, I’m spending more time with my partners and colleagues on the west side of the state. I always enjoy walking into the Des Moines office. Jeanet and Rachel are always waiting there with smile and a good story or joke to share. The last time I was in, Rachel said to me, “Robin, it is so nice to have you in the office…as corny as this may sound…you are like a human ray of sunshine.” While that was one of the nicest compliments I have ever recieved, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “No…I am the lucky one.” I am still so thankful for the “leap of faith” I was encouraged to take when coming over to Medtronic. To all of my peers…I love working with you and I truly enjoy the work we do every day.
And with that…I dedicate the rest of this post to Jeanet. Jeanet, thank you so much for sharing these home-grown pears with me! I’ll admit, I was just as excited about photoing these gems in my hotel room that night as I was about cookin’ them up!
As I left the office, pears-in-hand, I couldn’t wait to try a new recipe that would include this gifted ingredient. At first I decided…hmm, maybe a pear salad. I tried that…not so impressed. And then it dawned on me (and my recent obsession with sweets)…why not add a new twist to a fall favorite…apple pie!
Just one more reason to love fall…apple pie…or now, Pear-fect Apple Pie. I hope you enjoy this one!
PEAR-FECT APPLE PIE
Makes 1 Pie
- Pie Tin
- Pappy’s Frozen Pie Dough (easy & delicous), thawed
- 3 lbs Golden Delicious Apples
- 3 Pears
- Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
- 2/3 Cup Sugar
- 1/4 cup Flour
- 3/4 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Fine Salt
- 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 1/2 Stick of Butter
- 2 tbsp Milk
To start, make sure your pie crust is thawed. Once it is, begin your filling and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Peel and core both the apples and pears. Slice all of the fruit into ~ 1/2 inch slices. Squeeze the juice of half of a lemon juice over the fruit and then toss with the sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the fruit and cook uncovered for ~15 minutes. (until the fruit softens) Add flour to the fruit mixture and stir well. Stir in the vanilla and let simmer for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely. (I put mine in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process)
While the filling is cooling, lightly flour your rolling pin and surface. Remove 3 disks of dough from the Pappy’s box. You will use 1.5 disks of dough for the bottom crust and 1.5 for the top. Cut 1 of the pieces of dough in half and add 1 half to each of the other 2 pieces of dough and combine. Now you are ready to roll out the bottom crust. Add a dusting of flour to the dough disk and begin to roll the dough into a 9-10 inch circle. (Remember to roll out in equal directions from the center of the disk.) Transfer the dough to a 9 inch pie tin and trim any hangings. Set aside.
Once your filling is completely cooled, add the filling to the pie tin. Roll out the next dough disk and place on top of the pie. Again, trim hangings and use to fill tears or gaps. Discard the rest of the hangings.
Flute the edge of the pie crust with a fork or the pressure of your index finger. Brush the top of the pie with milk and then with egg. Cut 6-8 slits in the top of the pie for venting and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees on the bottom rack for ~30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. The pie may ooze apple/pear goodness in the oven, so line the rack below with tin-foil or a baking sheet.
Slice and serve warm with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel topping!
And the next time life hands you pears…make pie!
Indulge. In Life. In Love. In Food.