PEAR PIE | WITH A DAIRY FREE & GLUTEN FREE PIE CRUST

Pears have to be one of the prettiest fruits of fall with their varying hues and elegant curves. We love to eat them out of hand, but we discovered years ago, that our favorite way to eat them is in a pear pie. Pie has got be one of the greatest foods on earth. Tender and flaky, warm and comforting – filling a pie with pears is just meant to be.

bosc pears

If you gave me the choice between apple pie and pear pie, I would absolutely choose pear pie. I know this statement may sound like blasphemy to some of you out there, but until you have tried a pear pie, you really don’t know where I am coming from. Pears cook down to the perfect texture every time and do not need much added to them as they are so wonderfully flavored on their own. I am not the only one who prefers a pear pie, I recently got to tour Stillwater Orchards when I attended the IFBC, where I got to meet the Elliot family who all agreed that pear pie is the best (not that they were biased or anything ;)

bosc pear
bosc pear tree

bosc pear orchard

Walking through their orchards as the bosc pears were being harvested was quite the experience. Watching the workers climb their ladders and harvest each pear by hand gave me a deep respect for the work that goes into bringing this fruit to market. Hearing from the family who has been working these pear orchards for generations was a true honor, you could sense the deep love they have for what they do. You can feel their connection to their land and the integrity they feel that they are continuing their family’s legacy providing pears to people all over the country.

bosc pears

Their orchards were established in the 1850’s with pear trees imported all the way from France. Many of the trees in their orchard are still producing from all of those years ago. Knowing that the land we walked upon and the trees we were amongst carried such a rich history was quite humbling and instilled a new appreciation within me for the great investment farmers have made into bringing produce to market for us to enjoy. I knew as I wandered through the pear orchard that I would be turning the pears I brought home into a pear pie. I just had to wait for the pears to ripen. Pears are typically harvested in July & August here in Northern California and finish ripening at room temperature. Bosc pears turn to a golden russet color when ripe. For pie, we want them to be firm ripe, where the color has changed but they have not began to soften.

bosc pears

I have been wanting to develop a gluten free pie crust that used all shortening for some time now. I also wanted said crust to be able to be worked into a lattice topping, because lattice topped pies are so beautiful to behold. Workable pie crust and gluten free do not typically go hand in hand however. If you have ever made gluten free pie crust, you know that forming it into a lattice would be all but impossible. Well, it almost was impossible. It took many tries to get it just right, but I ended up with a recipe that is workable and turned into a lovely lattice.

pear pie
pear pie
pear pie
pear pie

pear pie

I was determined to top our favorite pear pie with a gluten free & dairy free lattice pie crust because I want everyone to be able to enjoy this pie. Whether you need an allergy free pie crust recipe or not, this pie will please any palate. You can absolutely use your favorite pie crust recipe instead, but either way, I hope I have convinced at least some of you apple pie purists out there to at least give a pear pie a chance, I know you will be pleasantly surprised.

pear pie

This beautiful hand crocheted dish towel is from Crochet Gallery – the pattern is coming soon to their Etsy Site & they take special orders as well.

pear pie

PEAR PIE | WITH GLUTEN FREE & DAIRY FREE PIE CRUST

Ingredients

    FOR THE CRUST:
  • 250g basic gluten free flour blend
  • 30g arrowroot starch
  • 30g sweet rice flour (mochiko)
  • 1 1/2 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup cold palm shortening, in tablespoons
  • 3 tsp EnerG egg replacer mixed with 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ice water
    FOR THE FILLING:
  • 3 lbs pears (bosc, d'anjou or barlett) - peeled, cored & sliced 1/2" thick
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp basic gluten free flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp cold palm shortening or vegan butter, cut into small bits
    MILK GLAZE:
  • 1 tbsp non dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp melted shortening or vegan butter

Instructions

    FOR THE CRUST:
  • In a bowl, whisk together flours, arrowroot starch, xantham gum & salt until well combined
  • Add cold palm shortening & cut shortening into flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal
  • Sprinkle mixture with the ice water, mix lightly with a fork - sprinkle in the egg replacement mixture & mix lightly with a fork
  • Gently knead the mixture until it just begins to come together. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, flatten into discs, wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate for 30 minutes
    FOR THE FILLING:
  • Sprinkle the prepared pears with lemon juice
  • In a large bowl mix sugar, flour, cinnamon & clove together - add the pears & gently toss to coat
  • On a sheet of lightly floured parchment paper, roll 1 disc of dough into an 10" round & flip the crust into the pie dish, remove parchment & press down with your fingers to fit the crust into the 9" pie dish, place pie dish into refrigerator to chill while you prepare the lattice
  • On a sheet of lightly floured parchment paper, roll the other disc of dough into a 10" round, cut into 1" strips & create a lattice topping atop the parchment paper (the pie dough is workable but not like gluten filled pie dough - it takes a light touch & patience to accomplish a gluten free lattice, but it is well worth the effort)
  • Once the lattice is complete, remove the pie dish from the refrigerator, fill with the pears, arranging the pears into even layers so that you have a relatively flat surface to place your lattice on
  • Carefully lift the lattice with the parchment paper & roll it onto the top of the pie (it may help to have someone else raise the pie dish to meet you as you place the lattice onto the top of the pie - I did this alone, but to ensure your lattice successfully makes it onto the pie you may want to have some help)
  • Make any necessary adjustments to the lattice & gently press the ends of the lattice onto the bottom pie crust
  • Pre-heat oven to 400F degrees & return pie to the refrigerator to chill while the oven heats up
    MILK GLAZE:
  • Mix together milk, sugar & butter until well combined
  • Once oven is preheated, remove pie from refrigerator & brush the crust with the milk glaze
  • Bake pie for 25 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350F degrees & continue to bake for another 45 minutes or until the crust is nice & golden (if the edges are browning too quickly, cover with a little loose foil or a pie shield)
  • Remove pie from oven & let cool at room temperature for at least 3 hours before serving

 

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • erica @ everyday erica September 6, 2016, 7:13 pm

    beautiful photos and great recipe!! pear pie sounds so perfect for fall!

    • bella September 7, 2016, 12:52 pm

      thank you so much Erica – it really is so perfect for fall!

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