Gingered Cranberry Pear Pie
Love the idea of a make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert. It holds up
well for the next day and is delicious!
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 to 5 tbsp ice water
2 oz gingersnap cookies, about 10 small cookies, or enough to yield ½ cup of fine crumbs
FOR THE FILLING
one 12-oz bag fresh or frozen cranberries (about 3 cups)
3/4 cup turbinado sugar (or more to taste)
1/2 cup juice and rind from 1 large orange (rind removed in long strips using a sharp vegetable peeler)
1/2 cup thinly sliced ginger, no need to peel but scrub well
3 leafy rosemary sprigs, each about 7 or 8 inches long
3 large firm-ripe pears (about 2 pounds total), stems removed, cored and thinly sliced about ¼” thick (no need to peel)
1 lg egg white, lightly beaten
In a food processor, blitz your gingersnap cookies using the pulse function until they’re finely ground. Cookie crumbs can be prepped several days in advance stored in an air-tight container.
Pulse flour, salt, and brown sugar to combine. Add butter pieces, then pulse until butter is the size of peas. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of water over mixture and pulse a few times, then repeat with 1 tbsp of water at a time, until small curds start to form and the dough holds together when pinched with your fingers. Form dough into a 4-inch disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Dough can be refrigerated up to 3 days in advance; allow to soften on the counter before rolling it out.)
Remove the dough from fridge. Spread gingersnap crumbs on a clean work surface. Roll out dough on top of crumbs, coating both sides, into a 11-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate, and crimp edges. Thoroughly chill shell in refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Line shell with parchment or foil, fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Remove pie weights and parchment. Let cool completely.
TO MAKE FILLING AND ASSEMBLE PIE
Set aside 1/2 cup of cranberries. Bring remaining cranberries, turbinado sugar and orange juice to a simmer in a saucepan over med-high heat, stirring frequently. Cook, just until cranberries begin to pop, about 3 minutes. This is the time to taste for sweetness. Add more sugar if preferred. Drain cranberries, set over a bowl to catch the juice; about 1 cup. Place cranberries in a small bowl and stir in your reserved 1/2 cup of cranberries. Set aside.
Return strained cranberry juice to a saucepan, add ginger, orange rind and rosemary. Simmer liquid over med-low heat until thickened and reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool before removing the ginger, orange, and rosemary. Using a fine-mesh strainer, pour syrup over cranberries. Discard solids.
Heat oven to 350° F. Brush a par-baked pie crust with egg white. Evenly layer the crust with thinly sliced pears, starting around the outer edge and working to the middle; once done, your pears should be 3 to 4 layers deep. Top with cranberry mixture, spreading it evenly to the edges. Bake until syrup has thickened, berries begin to brown and pears are tender, about 45 to 50 minutes. If pastry edges brown too quickly, cover with a band of foil.
Let pie cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with freshly whipped cream.