Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lattice Pie with Pears, Apples and Vanilla Brown Butter

The holiday season just cries out for pie. Something warm and comforting that makes the kitchen smell wonderful for hours. There is the alluring fragrance of a pie just ready to be pulled from the oven, but even before that there are tasks to be shared. There is nothing like warming up a kitchen with the bustle of people mixing dough for the crust, preparing fruit, mixing the filling, rolling out the dough and assembling the whole mess into its pan. I love the hint of brown butter in this pie, with cinnamon and the power team fall fruit; apples and pears. I love the lattice crust on this pie but you could really do anything you like. Crust is your blank canvas, be the designer, architect and creator of your next pie and warm up with someone special.
Lattice Pie with Pears, Apples and Vanilla Brown Butter adapted from Bon Appetit

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 pounds ripe pears, cored, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
2 pounds crisp apples, cored, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
2. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter is golden brown, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cool slightly. Add the vanilla extract, stir. Butter will boil up, stand clear.
3. In a large mixing bowl, gently combine pears, apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and lemon juice. Stir in the vanilla butter.
4. Roll out 1 dough disk on a lightly floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch pie dish. Trim overhang to 1-inch. Transfer filling to crust. Roll out second dough disk to 13-inch round. Using a pastry wheel, cut dough into ten 1-inch wide strips. Arrange 5 strips over filling, spacing evenly apart. Arrange remaining strips at right angle to first strips, weaving if desired. Fold lower crust overhang over strips and seal. Crimp edges. Brush lattice with 1 teaspoon milk and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.
5. Bake pie until crust is golden brown, fruit is tender, and filling is bubbling, covering crust edges with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool at least 1 hour before serving.

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