I made that!

PreThanksgiving Day Pie Camp – Part 2

Posted in All Sugar All The Time, Certified Pie Ninja by brandi on November 9, 2009

This is about my second (and favorite!) pie for PreThanksgiving this year: Ginger Almond Pear Pie. While most people gravitate to the sweeter fall pies, the fruit pies always get my vote. I am a freak for pear pie, and the addition of ginger and vanilla bean takes pear to a whole other level.


I started (as always) with a fully baked crust. Then I chopped up my pears. I like them pretty large, so they don’t turn to mush when baked. I tossed the pear chunks with sugar, the seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla bean, some shredded fresh ginger, cinnamon and cornstarch. I stuffed those into the pie crust, keeping in mind that they will lose about 50% of their volume when baked and cooled.


I then covered the spiced pears with some almond crisp topping that I had waiting for me in the freezer.


Then I baked it until the topping was browned and the pears were bubbling, which was about an hour. Once again, I don’t have a photo of the slice, but it was a mighty fine pie.


Nut Crisp Topping

7 oz AP flour

3 oz brown sugar

3 oz sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cups ground nuts

6 oz cold butter, cut into cubes

– Stir the dries together.

– Add the butter and mix in with your fingers. As the butter warms up, the mixture will begin to come together with a crumbly, but not sandy texture.

– Store in freezer until ready to be baked.


7 Responses

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  1. Katherine said, on November 10, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Wow, you inspired me to try this. What’s your recipe for pie crust? I have several, but they’re not fabulous. Thanks very much.

    • brandi said, on November 11, 2009 at 9:30 am

      Well, the thing about pie dough is that it’s more about the technique than the recipe. I simply use a 3:2:1 ratio for my dough, which translates into 9oz of flour, 6oz of butter and 3oz of water for 1 pie crust. The flakes come from the way I incorporate the butter. I just barely cut the butter into the flour, leaving the chunks quite large. Then I mix in the water and let the dough relax in the fridge for an hour. Then I treat it like a puff pastry, giving it 3 book folds. It’s a bit labor intensive, but those flakes are worth it!

  2. Katherine said, on November 11, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Thanks. I know about the chunks of butter, but have not dome the book fold. Will let you know what happens. Found a beautiful blue pumpkin at the farm yesterday.

  3. Emily said, on November 19, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Looks delicious! I think I’ll bring something like this to to my family next week. Do you mind sharing how to make the almond crisp topping? Thank you!

    • brandi said, on November 19, 2009 at 6:16 pm

      Just posted it!

  4. kiwik said, on December 5, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    girl, sounds seriously amazo! the pears in barcelona are absolutely fab right now, and i’m about to go out and buy some right now to make your pie
    i think i’ll be able to figure out all the proportions on my own this time, but could you please post how much sugar, pears, ginger, cinnamon and constarch you used?
    thank you 🙂

    • brandi said, on December 6, 2009 at 1:47 am

      Yikes! You caught me, I totally freestyle that part! I don’t really follow recipes for fruit pies, since every fruit has it’s own special personality. And I never bother to write anything down. All I can say is, taste your pear, decide from there how much sugar you think it needs. Pears, depends on how big of a pie you want. I like to totally stuff it in. Try 1 TBSP of fresh ginger, but you might find that you want more. I think I did. Cinnamon, to taste. Cornstarch, just throw a couple tablespoons in there. Let me know how it turns out!

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