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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Streusel-Topped Pear Pie

I am not a pie maker. I mostly do cakes, breads, and cookies. I think this is probably the third pie I've made since I've been married (wow, that's more than 7 years already!). My husband just isn't a big fan of pie - as in, he usually eats the filling and leaves the crust. However, I knew I had to add this pie recipe to my repertoire because he literally stuck his fork in the pie and declared, "This is the best pie I've ever had."

I used pears that were just barely ripe/still really firm and it worked beautifully. It wasn't mushy like fruit pies are typically; it had a bit of a bite to it that was great with the mild sweetness and spices. I adapted the recipe from The Good Home Cookbook, and it was the first time I've ever used tapioca. It allowed the mellow flavor of the pears to come through without any muddling with the rest of the ingredients. (Sorry...I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that.) I'll definitely be using more tapioca in the future. And so should you...in this pie. You'll be glad you did.

Streusel-Topped Pear Pie

7 medium pears, peeled, cored, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground mace
Pre-made dough for 1 9-inch pie crust (cold)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened

Combine the pears with the sugar, lemon juice, tapioca, cinnamon, and mace in a large bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 425F (rack in lower third of oven). Roll out pie dough to 1/8 inch and fit into a 9-inch pie pan leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold & flute the edges. (Do not dock the bottom.) Spoon filling into pie crust.

Stir together the flour & brown sugar. Use a fork to mash together with the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the pie and bake for about an hour*, until the topping is golden. If the top gets too brown before the rest of the pie is done, cover with alumnimum foil and continue to bake. Serve warm or at room temp.

*Note: The original recipe instructed you to bake the pie without the streusel topping for 10 minutes at 425F. Then reduce the oven temp to 350F and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes after adding the streusel tipping. I didn't do this because evidently I can't read directions. I suppose it was a happy accident. :)

Adapted from The Good Home Cookbook

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