I know I said this year was all about the whiskey Thanksgiving sides, but I couldn’t resist doing a dessert for good measure. And I happened to find myself with an odd assortment of ingredients that would make a fantastic pie – apples and pears from my CSA, an extra pie crust in the freezer, heavy whipping cream, and pear liqueur. And whiskey, but that was just the usual stock. Since I only had one crust, I decided to go for an apple crumble pie.
I combined a couple of different recipes. One called for the pears and apples to be sautéed in butter and flour until they softened to a compote-like consistence, which made it so the pie didn’t get all soggy with the juices and only overflowed a couple of glops. This was important because it didn’t have a full crust on top. The crumble on top, meanwhile, made a perfect crunchy cover against the soft fruit.
A very happy mouse must have siphoned off a bunch of my bourbon, since I only found an ounce or so at the bottom of the bottle. So I added some pear liqueur into the compote mix with the bourbon because why not. And I whipped up the heavy cream with some Scotch and sugar for the topping.
It turned out so well, I’m going to actually try to have these ingredients all at once again to recreate it.
For pie crusts, I use the Martha Stewart recipe. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prick crust several times with a fork, then cover with foil and fill with pastry weights or dry beans. Bake for 8 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and cook another 8 minutes. Set aside.
For the crumble, I used the New York Times recipe:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup, packed, light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Place flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt in food processor and process briefly to blend. Dice butter and add, along with pecans; pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Set aside. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.
For the filling, I played off of one from this Food Network recipe:
A splash of lemon juice
3 pounds apples – recipe suggests Golden Delicious, Cortland, or Mutsu (about 6 apples)
1 1/2 pounds pears – recipe suggests Bosc or firm Bartletts (about 3 pears)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
A couple of generous splashes of bourbon
A splash of pear liqueur
Peel, core and then slice both the apple and pear into 1/2-inch slices. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fruit, then toss fruit with the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fruit and cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves and juices simmer, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add a splash of whiskey and the flour and cook, uncovered, until the fruit softens and the juices evaporate some, about 10 minutes. Splash in some more whiskey, splash in some pear liqueur and remove from the heat. (The filling should resemble a tight compote.) Cool completely.
Spoon the filling into the pie crust. Cover the top evenly with the crumbs. Cover the edges with foil. Put pie on a cookie sheet. Put in oven for 10 minutes. Reduce head to 350 degrees and cook 40 minutes longer. Topping should be brown and the juices bubbling. Cool pie completely before cutting (or as long as you can hold out!).
Top with some Scotch whipped cream. Yum.
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