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guppy
Sep 21, 2004

sting like a byob

Hello GWS, this is my first NICSA or ICSA entry. I knew I wanted a sweet pie, but I'm not so big on the super sweet autumn-y ones like pecan pie. I thought I would take something familiar and modify it slightly. The idea was to start with an apple pie in mind, but swap in pears for the apples and change the flavors a little.

For the pears I chose boscs. I had to do a little research -- I usually make apple pies with Granny Smiths, and I knew I probably wouldn't find a pear that was as tart as that, but bosc seemed like the closest I'd get. To compensate, I used lemon zest and upped the lemon juice that I usually use by about half. (Still not that much -- 3 Tbsp vs 2 Tbsp.) I also swapped out vanilla extract for a couple tablespoons of Frangelico.

First up: the crust. I only make pies occasionally, and I don't even remember what recipe I usually use. This one is fairly standard but does include a bit of white vinegar, and uses both butter and shortening for the fat. Here's all the ingredients ready to roll.



Toss everything in the food processor with the dough blade, pulse together. I think my butter should have been colder, from the look and feel of it, but I don't usually use shortening so I don't know.



Form into discs, wrap up, toss in the fridge.



After this I went to the grocery store and bought the pears along with some other groceries for the week. When I got back I had somehow spent about an hour there, so I left the dough in the fridge to chill overnight.


Fast forward to this morning. I set out the ingredients for the filling...



... and started rolling out the dough. Last winter, I bought a pie bag, which I had never used despite making pies since then. The idea of a pie bag is you stick the dough in it and then you can just roll it out in the bag, which a. prevents sticking to the rolling pin and b. lets you get the size right. I think my pie bag is too small for my pie dish, and when I rolled it out it wasn't wide enough to properly fill the pan and come up the edges.





As it happens, I made a single-crust pie a while ago (with a streusel topping), so I had a single pie crust in the freezer. I love pie crust, and on the theory that pears are higher water content than apples, I thought maybe more crust would be a good idea for practical reasons too. It turns out that (per the University of Kentucky Agriculture Department) this is completely wrong and the two are about the same percentage water by weight. Still, I love pie crust. So I used the other half of the new dough to make up the difference and thicken up the walls.



Time for filling. Peelin' pears.



In the crust, after being tossed with lemon juice, lemon zest, Frangelico, and a healthy dose of cinnamon. (EDIT: And sugar. Less than I would use in an apple pie.)



The pie dough in the freezer was folded in quarters to make it fit since my freezer is narrow. After thawing, the stress of the folds caused it to split into those constituent quarters. The result is unfortunately a less attractive top crust than I'd hoped for, but I did get a nice edge going around the rim. I also made a little pear from dough scraps and put it on top, but frankly it's hard to tell, especially after baking.



I knew I wanted coarse decorating sugar on top, but I was afraid to put it on before baking in case it melted into the crust. It turns out that if you do it after baking there's nothing holding on, which is obvious in retrospect.




Sliced.



Plated.




Verdict: It's good!



Post-mortem: This involved a lot of experimentation and flying by the seat of my pants. I gave serious thought to not entering because of all the flaws in the presentation, but NICSA was the only reason I even made a pie, and I took the pictures, so what the hell. Maybe I will get points for creativity. I'm happy with the flavors, and I like the Frangelico in the filling. If I were doing it again, I would aim to not gently caress up the crusts, by using colder butter and not rolling out with the pie bag, and I would put the decorating sugar on before baking. If I were to reinforce again with more dough, I would probably use more of it on the bottom since fruit pies can be pretty liquidy, and I would probably thicken the filling with corn starch or something similar. Other than that I'm pretty pleased with it and I'm looking forward to eating pie for the next several days.

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Brawnfire
Jul 13, 2004

Come play my CYOA!

Save your reality from the Constructors... then save all the rest of them.


Sucks the pie bag didn't work out, that looked pretty cool. I don't normally like shortening-based crusts (thus the graham cracker crust on my pie) partially because they're a bitch to roll out.

A pear pie sounds fantastic; I like how lumpy you made yours. I've had lots of apple pies family and friends make and they slice the apples WAY too thin. You need some hot, fruity chunks in there.


I appreciate the amount of mid-flighty experimentation you did here. I erred on the side of caution with mine.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004



Fun Shoe

I really like the larger pear chunks as well. Pears tend to go really soft when baking, so that should make them a little more toothy. Fruit pie filling should have a little bite to it, you know?

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


Oh man, I want a pie bag. That's such a good idea. I also want your pie. Your top crust looks so pretty!

Cavenagh
Oct 9, 2007

Grrrrrrrrr.

Never seen a pie bag before. I wrap the counter in cling film, rolling out the dough under an upper layer of cling film, when I'm making very short pastry for a tart. Guess the idea is similar but more shower cappy. Probably gonna stick with the cling film.

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Kenning
Jan 10, 2009

I really want to post goatse. I wish I had 10bux


Congrats on your pie! A good showing for a first-time NICSA for sure.

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