Alton uses pears and cranberries, but his tips work great for apples too.
Pear-Cranberry Pie I like to build the crust in the food processor. If you don’t, it’s okay. It’s not going to change the final outcome. I just think it’s a lot faster and you get thing more flexible dough. I’m going to start with some kosher salt, a teaspoon and a third. Now, a tablespoon of sugar, plain old sugar. This is twelve ounces by weight of all-purpose flour, about six ounces of butter and two ounces of shortening. I’m going to put this in, the butter first and pull it five or six times just to work it into the dough, then the shortening. I like to use the two different types of fat because they melted different temperatures in the oven, and that’s going to give us a different texture. And believe it or not that’s also going to help a little bit with the blowing up problem. Just pulls this a few times. Just palm that out. I have here about three and quarter pounds of pears. We can use any mixture. We got to sprinkle on quarter of a cup of sugar and I’m going to let it sit and drain. The sugar is going to pull moisture out of the pears and we’re going to capture the juice that drains away and turn that into a glaze that’s going to go on top of the pie. So we are wasting nothing and maximizing flavor. So I’m going to add some dried fruit. This is just six ounces by weight of dried cranberries. We got a quarter of a cup more of sugar. We need a thickener. I like to use tapioca flour because I like the way that it sits. So three tablespoons of that, goes on. I like to add a little bit of jam and I’ve got some cranberry jam here just to -- about two tablespoons, one tablespoon of cranberry juice, two teaspoon of actually squeezed lemon juice. And I’m going to go with the pinch of salt only about a half of teaspoon that will do it. Final flavor, nutmeg and I always keep one these in my pocket. I like to use whole nutmeg because it really never goes bad. It never looses its flavor. I want to about add up I’m going to say half of teaspoon that’s going to eyeball it. Here we go, I just let back in my pocket. And these -- well, just toast especially important that you thoroughly mixed in all of that tapioca flour. If you have found that you have a hard time dealing what you are pie goes, and getting them kind of about torn up or wrapped around on your rolling pin, try this. Just give it a little bit of flour on everything, put in on wax paper then hold the wax paper over and that will keep it from winding it’s way onto the rolling pin. Turn, turn, and roll. Drops right down, and then we unfold. This is pie bird. It is essentially a funnel. This goes right in the middle of the dough like that. And what’s going to happen is while the pie cooks, okay, moisture is going to be released it’s going to turn to steam and it’s going to travel into those little 3:02 in the bottom of the bird and ride up out of the top. So we’re basically inventing a vent as long as the pie bird is in place and you don’t squeeze it down into the dough everything is going to be okay. All the steam will escape from out here. Do not 3:18. Whatever you do, do not pack the food down. There needs to be spacing between the pieces of fruit for that steam to then out. That’s important. Okay, time to lid up, and I push down and make little hole to the little feathered guy, and then mold this to the top of the foods. Good! That looks about the way I want it to look. I don’t see any holes. Now, the glaze. A lot of people would use an egg wash for this but I think this is going to be a lot more flavorful. Just in case there is any missed happen I’m not saying there’s going to be but I’ll put this on a pan anyway. Come on. I’ll be back. Prove positive that you can make a fruit pie that doesn’t blow up like a Mount Vesuvius because you can see we’ve got nice layers of fruit -- pair of my case apple and yours? It’s bound together with a nice light gel and no blow up. So this piece is for you. If you can come and get it, it’s all yours. Me, well, this looks about right.