This is one of the best fruit pies I have ever eaten! I’m not a huge fruit pie fan in general, but there’s something about this pie that’s just incredible. The combination of the pears, cherries, spices and streusel is amazing. When I do eat fruit pies, I usually like them warm and covered in whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. This pie doesn’t need anything on it. It doesn’t even need to be warm. My husband was raving about the pie last night, so I decided to try it even though I wasn’t particularly hungry. It was so good I almost had another slice. This is now my go-to pie recipe for the fall. I can’t wait to make it again. I also can’t wait to have a piece for dessert tonight.
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Fresh Pear Pie with Dried Cherries and Brown Sugar Streusel
Recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine, September 2009
For the streusel:
4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. table salt
4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
3 lb. ripe Anjou or Bartlett pears (5 or 6 medium), peeled and cored, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges and then crosswise into 1/2-inch slices (about 7 cups)
1-1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1-1/8 oz. (1/4 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped
1 cooked pie crust (I cheated and used one from Pillsbury)
Position a rack in the center of the oven, set a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 350°F.
Make the streusel:
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, blend the butter into the flour mixture. The mixture will be moist. Set aside.
Make the filling:
In a large bowl, toss the pears with the lemon juice. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the sugar mixture to the pears and toss well to combine. Stir in the cherries.
Mound the filling into the piecrust. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the pear mixture, pressing the streusel between your fingers into small lumps as you sprinkle.
Put the pie on the heated baking sheet and bake until the pastry is golden-brown and the filling is bubbly and thickened at the edges, 55 to 65 minutes. Rotate the pie halfway through baking, and if the pastry or streusel browns before the filling has thickened, loosely cover the top or edges of the pie as needed with a pie shield or a sheet of aluminum foil.
Transfer to a rack and cool completely before serving. The pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Yield: 8 servings