What started as a simple project challenging myself to bake a different pie every week for a year, has turned into a project of finding unusual pie recipes and making up some of my own. I found that I like to put my own twist on the standards as much as I enjoy creating new flavor combinations. And even though I fear some of the crazy pies I read about (a sweet, not savory, Green Tomato Pie?), I am willing to take a few risks.
For example, my friend over at Forgotten Bookmarks recently shared with me a recipe he found for Prune Meringue Pie. PRUNE! MERINGUE! PIE! That is just crazy enough for me to try. It also leaves me craving more crazy pie recipes. Do you have any unusual pie recipes to share? Please post a comment or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will give you proper credit if I bake your crazy pie.
Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, I recently mixed up this lovely Ginger-Pear Pie with a crumble topping. The fresh ginger gives it a nice kick. My pears were not quite ripe, so they were a little crunchy but still tasty. I added nuts to my crumble topping, but they can be omitted if you are not a fan of nuts. I happen to be a huge fan of nuts. Mmm…. Nuts!
Ginger-Pear Crumble Pie
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
2 tbs cornstarch
4 ripe, yet firm, Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbs fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 9-inch prepared, unbaked pie pastry
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup cold butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375°, with rack in middle position. Place a spill mat or cookie sheet covered with foil on the rack below to catch any drips.
In a small pan, melt butter with vanilla and grated ginger over medium heat. Cook about 5 minutes, until butter is frothy and light brown. Remove from heat.
Place chopped pears in a medium bowl. Pour butter mixture through a sieve over pears. Stir and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until well combined. Whisk in lemon juice, then flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir into pear mixture until combined.
Pour into a 9-inch prepared (unbaked) pie crust. Top with crumble topping and bake about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. I served mine warm with vanilla bean ice cream.
Time for a few pretty photos. Just a few. I sometimes get too wrapped up in the baking and I forget to take enough snaps. Sorry about that. I will try to be better about documenting the entire process without sacrificing the pie.