Unsurprisingly, pears are a close relative of apples and are one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruits. According to Bill Neal, they are frequently paired with ginger in southern recipes, which “produces a fruit pie that, when following a heavy holiday meal, doesn’t stifle or stuff.” This pie is intended for dessert after a, uh, let’s say “adventurous” Christmas Eve dinner menu, so let’s hope that will be the case…
Ginger pear pie
6 cups sliced pears, about 2.25 lbs whole
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
Scant 2 tablespoons instant tapioca
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely minced crystallized ginger
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon tangerine or clementine zest
Pie dough for 1 double crust
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon water
Position rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 350.
Peel and slice the pears. Mr. R. used an apple corer/slicer and then cut each slice in half a second time. Place in a bowl.
Combine the 1/2 cup sugar, tapioca and salt and sprinkle over the pears. Add ginger, lemon and tangerine zest. As clementines are so abundant (and delicious) this time of year, we actually substituted those. Stir or toss to coat pears completely and set aside while you roll out the dough.
Moisten edge of crust and cover with top layer, crimping the edges together. Brush the top with egg beaten with water, and sprinkle teaspoon of sugar on top. Cut steam vents.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or so, until crust is a golden brown.
As you can probably guess, this recipe is adapted from Biscuits, Spoonbread and Sweet Potato Pie. I’ll let you know how it tastes after tomorrow night!