Pears are the poor man’s apple. To all you pear lovers out there, I mean no offense. Maybe I just haven’t had a good pear. Maybe I’m speaking out in total ignorance. Maybe pears are a hidden treasure, reserved only for those who are wise enough to appreciate them.
Meh. The pears I’ve had are mushy, mealy and lacking in flavor. Pear jelly bellies? Now those are good! Regular pears? Not so much.
So when we went apple picking last weekend, we picked apples. Juicy, crisp, bursting with flavor apples. As we were heading out with our overflowing bucket of apples, I noticed a pear tree. They were sort of pretty. I picked one and added it to our bucket.
When we got home, inspiration hit. I had just purchased some candied ginger and that seemed like a good thing to pair with pear. Pair with pear:) ha!
Have I mentioned that Grandma V was the queen of all pies? As you can see from the recipe, it’s well loved:)
Whole wheat pastry flour and salt are mixed with butter. Crumbly is good. Grandma V always used one of those pastry blenders. I’m somewhat partial to a food processor, but in honor of Grandma, I went old school:)
Here’s where old school meets crazy hippie school. I ignored Grandma V’s instructions to raid the chicken coop and I used a flax egg. That, mixed with some hot water (every other pie recipe I’ve ever made demands cold water. Not Grandma. I obey Grandma.) is added to the butter/flour mixture. Pie crust!
The pear is sliced and peeled. We have one of those handy apple corer thingy’s. That’s a real word, you know- thingy.
Ginger is chopped and mixed with the pears, flour, sugar and my favorite combo of fall spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Matty B started eating this combo raw until I slapped his hand and made him his own personal bowl. I also threw in some craisins because it seemed like a good idea. I started to reach for the pecans but repeated to myself, “less is more”. What do you think? Did I miss a golden opportunity?
The crust is rolled out. As I was just doing two mini pies (portion control, people) I only used half of the crust recipe. Hmmmm…what to do with the extra pie crust?:)
Pies are filled. Top crusts are crimped. Feelings of accomplishment ensue.
While the pies were baking, we went outside and drew with sidewalk chalk. This is the weird time of year we’re living in. Is it fall? Is it summer? No one knows…
Here’s what I DO know:
Pears with ginger in buttery crust? So good.
Add a scoop of coconut bliss ice cream? That, my friends, is the best. You might say that apple pie is the poor man’s pear pie…
Pear Ginger Pie
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 TBS ground flax mixed with 1 1/2 TBS warm water
1/4 cup hot water (cause Grandma says so)
1 large pear
1 TBS flour
1/4 cup sugar (scant)
Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger (to taste, anywhere from 1/4-1/2 tsp each)
2 TBS craisins
2 TBS chopped candied ginger
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter until sandy in texture. Combine flax egg with 1/4 cup water. Mix into flour/butter combo. Roll out either two large or four small circles (depending on size of pie tins).
Peel and slice pear. Combine with remaining ingredients. Fill prepared tins, cover with top crust and crimp. Use a knife to create a few air slits. Bake for 15 minutes at 400. Lower temperature to 350 and bake an additional 35-40 minutes, covering with foil if crust browns too quickly.
Let cool. Slice and serve!