Chocolate Pear Pie

While Canadian Thanksgiving came and went over a month ago, American Thanksgiving is in full swing and I’m basically ready for another turkey.  Since that’s not happening, I’m joining the fun with a Thanksgiving table-worthy, full pie take on my Chocolate Pear Hand Pies.

I’ve already stated why I am addicted to this pie:

  1. Chocolate is delicious.
  2. Pear pies are seriously underrated and delicious.
  3. The combination of both is 10/10.
  4. Bonus: Cinnamon and chocolate!!!!!

This pie is also a perfect example of how you can turn a basic lattice into something really special with varying strip widths and a braid thrown in.  This isn’t super strategic like a herringbone lattice, but a basic technique made really gorgeous by variances in design.  Fishtail braids also never hurt any pie.

How have you guys been escalating your lattices lately?  Are you already plotting your Thankagiving pies? Let me know in the comments!

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 5 cups peeled, cored and thinly sliced Bartlett pears
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of allspice
  • Pinch of cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

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Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Cut the dough ball into two halves and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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Meanwhile, make chocolate ganache.  In the microwave or on stovetop, bring cream to an almost boil and pour over chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk together until smooth.  Set aside.

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Remove dough from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out a disk on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick (it will be about 12-13 inches in diameter).

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Fold the rolled out crust in half and set into a buttered 9 inch pie pan.  Unfold gently and settle the bottom of the crust into the corners.  Roll out other dough half for the pie top or lattice and refrigerate both crusts for 20 minutes.

To make filling, toss together pear slices, lemon juice and granulated sugar with your hands in a large bowl and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes.  In another bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, spices and vanilla.  Drain excess moisture from pear mixture and sprinkle sugar mixture on top.  Toss with your hands until pears are evenly coated.

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Remove pie shell from fridge and spread a layer of ganache on the bottom.  Arrange pear filling on top of the ganache.

Top with desired lattice.

To crimp the edge of the crust, “pinch and push” using your thumb and pointer finger and other thumb, like below:

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Place the pie in the fridge for 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 425F.

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Remove pie from fridge and brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar to your liking.  The egg wash ensures the pie is nicely browned.

Place the pie on a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and bake for 20 minutes until the pie crust is starting to set and brown.  Reduce the oven heat to 375F and bake for 30-35 minutes until the crust has browned and juices are bubbling throughout the pie.  Let cool for 2-3 hours and enjoy!

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