Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pear Gruyere

Look! My oven's clean!

But this is supposed to be about pie. Here's the recipe for what I made this week.

I love pears. mr. waited until I had finished making the pie to inform me that he's not that big of a fan (how did I not know that after all these years?). But he still liked the final result. The recipe calls for fresh nutmeg, but another source recommended cardamom (an idea I thought sounded good). So, I enlisted Prima's help in deciding which spice to use. We put some grated gruyere and sliced pears together in the same smelling vicinity with (by turns) cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, and cardamom...and then we sniffed to see which combination we liked the best. Fresh nutmeg won. Looked good going in:

But when I cut into the cooled final product there was an astounding amount of liquid. The pears kept a lot of their bite, they weren't mushy at all, but WOW was there a lot of liquid.

I resumed crust experimentation this week. This time I used 2/3 butter and 1/3 lard.

I also used some of the suggestions here for adding gruyere* to the crust (I used about 2 oz). The dough was very easy to work with. Rolled out nicely, easy to move from rolling to pan, even easy to weave into a lattice. I was very impressed with myself.

I thought the taste of the crust was good, though a little salty (see notes below). Prima is still nonplussed by the whole "animal fat crust" thing.

Mmmmm. Food porn.

*In case you aren't aware, gruyere is a little expensive. I paid $11 for half a pound.

Notes for next time:
  • Use a combination of apples and pears. Might that mitigate some of the liquid factor?
  • Might using less sugar cause the pears to give up less of their liquid? (I need to take a food chemistry course.)
  • Use at least part unsalted butter when adding something salty (like cheese) to the crust.
  • Roll the dough thinner. It will still be workable, but less intense when you eat it.

In pie tool news, I love my new Emile Henry pie pan. It's perfect. But I still want a green one like they use in The Pie Hole. This week I need to purchase these items:

Next up: I'm conflicted. I saw some beautiful raspberries last time I was at Costco. If they are there when I do the shopping Wednesday, I may make a fresh raspberry pie. If not, I'll make a breakfast pie (quiche lorraine) for Saturday morning.

P.S. Sometimes I am very impressed with my camera. If you double click on any of these photos and see them full size, the detail is amazing.


John Graham said...

This looks amazing. I'll make it this weekend. Since we're vegetarians, I'll use a Pate Brisee (sp?) for the crust; but with the addition of the Gruyere I'll definitely use unsalted butter. I love pears. I love Gruyere. I love pie. This will probably taste good with the pumpkin ale I just brewed.
I also like the name of this pie because it rhymes.

April Fossen said...

I'm going to need some pumpkin ale over here. Pronto!