Move over, apple, there's a new king of fall pies. The under-appreciated pear shines in this spiced pie made with crystallized ginger and cinnamon. Wrapped up in a braided lattice crust, this pear pie has become our new favorite treat for fall and is a worthy contender for a place next to your Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.
A braided lattice crust is a fun way to add extra flare to your baked goods at home. The process is the same as braiding hair and results in a beautifully crisp crust. We use granulated sugar for a glossy finish on the dough, but feel free to substitute turbinado sugar or omit it completely.
To learn more, read “Pie and Mighty.”
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: One 9-inch pie
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus macerating and cooling time
Cook Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes, plus macerating and cooling time
3 pounds (6 large) D'Anjou pears—peeled, quartered, cored and sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick
½ cup, plus 1 tablespoon, granulated sugar, divided
½ cup crystallized ginger, roughly chopped
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 flaky piecrust (recipe here)
1 egg, beaten
1. In a large bowl, toss the pears with ½ cup of the granulated sugar, the crystallized ginger, cornstarch, orange juice, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 350º. Strain the pears of any excess liquid and transfer the liquid to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the liquid back to the bowl with the pears and toss to incorporate.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of the pie dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie tin pressing to fit the tin, leaving at least 1 inch of overhang on the sides. Spoon the filling into the tin over the dough, spreading to make an even layer.
4. Roll out the other disk of pie dough into a 10-inch square. Using a knife, cut eighteen ½-inch strips of dough. Take 3 strips of the dough and braid into 1 strand. Repeat this process until you have 6 braided strips. Place 3 strips horizontally across the pears, then pull alternating strips back and lay the additional strips perpendicular. Trim off the extra dough, then roll up the edge to make a rim around the dish. Using your fingers, crimp the edges of the pie.
5. Brush the dough liberally with the beaten egg, then sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar over top. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling has thickened, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before slicing and serving.