This pie showcases two seasonal favorites: apples and pears. As the calendar marches through the holidays, keep this pie in mind. Its great flavor combination — tart apples and sweet pears spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon — could make a nice addition to your festive spread.
Apple and Pear Pie and Favorite Pie
Crust for a Double-Crust Pie
Serves: 12. Preparation time: 35 minutes; Total time: 2 hours (not all active time).
This pie has a great flavor combination: tart apples and sweet pears spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon.
1 beaten egg white
1/4 cup applejack brandy or brandy, optional
1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
11/4 pounds tart baking apples, peeled, quartered, cored, cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound firm but ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup half-and-half or heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup coarsely chopped lightly toasted walnuts or pecans
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out half the dough and fit into a 10-inch pie plate. Brush the bottom with the egg white and refrigerate.
Mix applejack brandy if using, dried currants, fresh lemon juice and vanilla extract in large bowl. Let mixture stand 15 minutes.
Cook 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat until pale golden, about 3 minutes. Add apple wedges, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Sauté until apple wedges are crisp-tender, about 12 minutes. Add apple mixture, pear wedges and cornstarch to currant mixture; toss to coat.
Mix light brown sugar, corn syrup, whipping cream and remaining 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in heavy small saucepan. Boil over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, stirring until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stir in chopped walnuts. Add to fruit mixture. Toss to coat.
Transfer warm filling to prepared crust. Roll out the top crust and place on top. Cut slits in the top so the pie can vent. Bake 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake until apples and pears are tender and liquid bubbles thickly, about 30 minutes longer.
Cool pie on rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.