Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pear Pie of the Year?

"Pie of the Week" is the inspiring category of postings at Gigi's Firefly Cottage blog, and her latest pie is Fudge; a list of many pies by Gigi and links to their recipes is on the sidebar of the page.

I wish I could bake a pie once a week. I also wish I could have a day of prayer and contemplation every week, and a day of gardening, and a loaf of bread baked every seven days or so. But at the rate I'm going, I should set my sights lower-- perhaps one pie every six months or so? (If wishes were horses, beggars would ride, and eat more pie.)

My latest pie is Pear. It's the first pear pie I've ever eaten or baked. The thought of eating this subtle fruit any way besides fresh or dried never appealed, until I read a recipe on one of my favorite blogs recently, a recipe that made me think pear pie would be worth a try. I was prepared in mind, then, for the display of pale green Bartletts at a fruit stand where I stopped for a snack on Monday.

The price was right, but you had to buy a big bag of them, more than B. and I could possibly eat. I thought, "This is my chance to bake a pear pie," and I brought them home, and there was my deadline in front of me: within two days they would be pale yellow, and the pie would have to be baked.

Here is my new white pie dish waiting for its pears. The hearts on the cloth that is under the clear vinyl were my solution to shoe polish stains about 15 year ago.

But where was the recipe? Nowhere to be found. Had I imagined it, or just lost it? The pie had to be baked, so I researched ideas on for quite a while, settling on a this recipe that featured lemon, maple, and ginger to add complexity.

 I made a couple of changes: doubled the ginger and forgot to put in the sugar. I'm so glad about that last omission, because the maple syrup made the pie just sweet enough for my taste. All the various flavors blended nicely and nothing overpowered the pears. I found it to be quite lovely. It was hard to know just what the added flavors were.

This pie was thickened with instant tapioca granules. I discovered I didn't have instant, so I ground some small pearls in the blender and then sifted out the bigger pieces. The finished product was a bit soupy, maybe only because it was still warm.


But B. often doesn't like new taste sensations, especially the first time. After having a slice of this one, he said it had nothing that made him want to keep eating it. I should have that feeling; after eating more than necessary, I quickly wrapped the rest of the pie, dish and all, in heavy foil and stuck it in the freezer.

Maybe my pear pie will be the Pie of the Century!