The year 2010 has come to just one more day. It has been a good year to me, it's full of surprises, mostly good thankfully. It has also been a busy year, with work, traveling to Indonesia, and parents moving across the state. I like to stay busy and the goals for this year have made me work harder and creatively. At times I grew frustrated but once the goals were done, I felt good with my accomplishments.
I don't have regrets leaving this year, I'm actually ready for the new year. Call me an optimist, or someone with a sunny disposition; I'm facing the unknown with a brave face. And to leave this year in good spirit, I'm posting one more sweet note to you all. I made a pear-cranberry pie with almond meal crust earlier this month as a way to experiment with pie crust. I usually make an all-butter crust or half-butter, half-shortening crust for my pie; but I wanted to try an almond meal pie crust from Bob's Red Mill website. The filling recipe was adapted from a various sources--which honestly spelled "I forgot where I got the recipe". It's basically an approximation of about 5-6 pears with a cup or so of fresh cranberries. Thrown those together with sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and some cornstarch, if you like. I got a tasty pie and easy enough to make in under several hours.
I bade farewell to 2010, happy New Year to my readers, hope to see you soon!
Pear-Cranberry Pie with Almond Meal Crust
Makes one 9-inch double-crust pie
Almond Meal Crust
1/2 cup almond meal flour
1 1 2/ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces, chilled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, chilled
5-6 tablespoons ice water
Combine both flours and salt in the food processor, pulse to mix. Scatter vegetable shortening and butter over the dry ingredients and pulse several times until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle half of the water over the flour mixture, pulse several times. If the mixture seems dry, add some more water and pulse until it seems cohesive enough to form a ball.
Using your hands, divide the pastry into one large ball and one smaller ball. Flatten each into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is chilled enough to roll (at least 30 minutes).
5-6 large ripe pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh cranberries, picked over for stems
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
Turbinado, Demerara, or granulated sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.
Combine pears, cranberries, and the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl; toss to combine.
On a floured surface, roll the larger piece of pastry to about 12-inch circle; sprinkling it lightly with flour as needed so doesn't stick. Carefully fold in half and transfer to a 9-inch pie pan.
Pour the filling over the bottom crust. Trim away excess dough, leaving about 1-inch overhang. Roll out the smaller piece of pastry and drape over filling. Trim edges and pinch to seal. Make several slits on top crust for the steam to escape. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle some sugar on top.
Set the pie on a baking sheet to catch the drips. Bake in the bottom rack for 50-60 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Cover the top crust with foil if it browns too quickly. Let cool before slicing.