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Oct 24/13

One for Fall: A Flawless Autumn Spice Pie Posted by: Dan | 0 Comments

finishedautumnspicepie

Fall has finally arrived and cooler temperatures usher in the familiar smells of the season to our kitchens. No spice represents the season better than cinnamon, and it makes a lead appearance in this delicious pie.  Combining the best dessert flavors of Thanksgiving and Christmas, this pie is perfect from the time the first cold front first rolls in until the dreariness of February makes its final exit. It’s the best of all things pie. The flaky, buttery bottom crust seems to stand out in this pie instead of simply being a casing for the heavy filling. Tart cranberries offer pretty pops of red and blend beautifully with slightly firm sweet apples and tender pears. A crisp, buttery crumb topping offers balance of flavor and texture to the rich filling.

This pie has become a favorite family tradition and it graces both our Thanksgiving and Christmas dessert table. Several tweaks have led to the final recipe below. We prefer ours served with vanilla ice cream, but homemade whipped cream is also delicious. And we’ve never turned down a slice on its own, with no dairy adornment! I hope it also finds a place on your holiday dessert table.

The Pie Belle’s Autumn Spice Fruit Pie
Pie pastry for single-crust 9-inch pie
2 cups peeled thinly-sliced pears
4 cups peeled thinly-sliced apples (I prefer a mix of Granny Smith, Golden Delicious & Braeburn, but use your favorite cooking apples)
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter

Crumb Topping:
1 cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes

On a lightly-floured surface, roll pastry to form a bottom crust. Place in a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over the crust edge and crimp it. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine pears, apples, and cranberries. Drizzle with lemon juice. Toss lightly.
In a small bowl, combine the sugars, flour and spices. Add to pear mixture and toss lightly.
Spoon mixture into pie shell and dot with butter.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and sugar for the crumb topping. Add butter to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour-sugar mixture until the butter is pea-sized and all the flour-sugar has been absorbed into the butter bits.
Sprinkle the crumb topping over the filling until it is completely covered.

Bake at 425 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until the topping is browned, apples are tender, and the juices are thickened.
Serve warm with ice cream or homemade whipped cream.

For more great recipes and info about Terri Duhon, visit her website, The Pie Belle.


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