Fresh ginger gives the filling of this pear pie a warming kick of spice, balanced by the buttery crumble of sweet streusel. This recipe, developed by chef Mary Sue Milliken, first appeared in our November 2013 issue with the story State of Grace.
FOR THE CRUST:
- 1 1⁄3 cups flour
- 1⁄3 cup cornstarch
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 1⁄4 cup plus 1 tbsp. lard or vegetable shortening, chilled
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 1⁄4 ice-cold water
FOR THE FILLING AND TOPPING:
- 8 medium Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. minute tapioca
- 5 tbsp. butter
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground mace
- 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1⁄4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 (1"-piece ginger), peeled and grated
- 1 cup flour
Make the crust: Pulse flour, cornstarch, butter, lard, sugar, and salt in a food processor into pea-size crumbles. Add water; pulse until dough comes together. Form dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap; chill 1 hour.
Heat oven to 450°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12" round. Fit into a 9" pie plate. Trim edges and crimp; chill 30 minutes. Using a fork, prick dough all over. Line dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans; bake 15 minutes. Remove paper and weights; let cool.
Make the filling and topping: Toss pears with lemon juice; let sit, uncovered, 30 minutes, then drain, discarding liquid. Stir in 1⁄2 cup sugar, plus tapioca. For the topping, stir remaining sugar, plus butter, mace, salt, nutmeg, and ginger in a bowl. Using your fingers, mix in flour until small crumbles form; set both filling and topping aside.
Reduce oven to 375°. Tightly arrange pears over dough and sprinkle with topping; bake until the topping is golden and filling is bubbling, about 1 hour. Let pie cool to room temperature before serving.