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Fresh Pear Pie with Dried Cherries and Brown Sugar Streusel

Ingredients

For streusel:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 oz. 8 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

For filling:

  • 3 lb. ripe Anjou or Bartlett pears 6 medium, peeled and cored, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges and then crosswise into 1/2-inch slices (about 7 cups)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup dried tart cherries coarsely chopped
  • grated zest of half of one lemon
  • 1 blind-baked All-Butter Pie crust

For Pie Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/8 ha really? teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Put all dry ingredient into medium bowl. Cut or rub the butter into the dry ingredients. Drizzle the water into the mixture. Mix with a fork, gather the dough together and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour. Roll out dough onto floured surface. Place in pie plate. Trim and crimp edges. Prick the sides and edges with a fork if using for a single crust. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or overnight. This will prevent shrinkage. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line the chilled pie crust with foil and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the beans or weights. Reduce oven temperature to 375. Bake until bottom looks dry but is not quite done and the edges are golden, 5-7 minutes more. Let cool while preparing filling.

For pie:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, set a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 350°F.

Make the streusel

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, blend the butter into the flour mixture. Set aside.

Make the filling

  1. In a large bowl, toss the pears with the lemon juice. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the sugar mixture to the pears and toss well to combine. Stir in the cherries and lemon zest.
  2. Mound the filling into the pie crust. Pour the streusel topping over the pear mixture.
  3. Put the pie on the heated baking sheet and bake until the pastry is golden-brown and the filling is bubbly and thickened at the edges, 55 to 65 minutes. Rotate the pie halfway through baking, and if the pastry or streusel browns before the filling has thickened, loosely cover the top or edges of the pie as needed with a pie shield or a sheet of aluminum foil.
  4. Transfer to a rack, sprinkle with a little granulated sugar and cool completely before serving. The pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Recipe Notes

-The pie itself was yummy. The pear and dried cherry filling was unusual. A nice change from the predictable apple or cranberry apple my kids love. The more pieces I tasted, the more I liked it. I think next time I make this, I'll use golden raisins, instead of the cherries. The cherries do plump up nicely while cooking. And although I love dried cherries, I wasn't absolutely crazy about the change in flavor (of the cherries) after baking. The streusel created an almost caramel type topping for the pears. Really good the next day, after the pie cooled completely. Really good with a little vanilla bean ice cream.

-If you want to try the butter crust, go ahead, I would not pre or blind bake the crust before filling. Just increase the baking time to 1 hour at 400 degrees.