Guess where I am right now? I am sitting -probably poolside, maybe even seaside - in San Diego. Right this very minute I might be grilling Lobster tail in the backyard, sipping an ice cold Horchata or devouring a double-double, animal style, from In-n-Out (yeah be jealous....of all the weight I am gaining while I am here). To me, Christmas was not meant to be spent freezing your ass off in the snow...it is best celebrated with ocean breezes, sunshine and fish tacos (omg! fish tacos!).
That being said, its also pretty fun celebrating with some traditional Christmas goodies on the big day. Maybe some glazed ham or a cheese ball? And definitely pie. This might just be the quintessential holiday pie. It is festive and colorful with in-season juicy pears, cranberries and a struesel-like Ginger Snap crumb topping that is to die for. Its the type of thing that is just asking to be enjoyed with a glass of fresh egg nog while watching The Muppets Christmas Carol.
This isn't complicated either. If you are doing some entertaining, you can easily make this pie the day before, store in the fridge, and just let it sit at room temp for a few hours before serving. It was delightful with a dollop of whipped cream and I am just guessing - going out on a limb here - that this would be simply devilish with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays everyone!!
Cranberry-Pear Pie with Ginger Snap Crumb Topping
recipe from Food & Wine
prepared Pie Dough
Egg Wash: 1 egg and 1 Tbsp milk, beaten
1 cup Flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
12 gingersnap cookies*, crushed
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1 stick (113 grams) butter, melted and cooled
*I used the Scandinavian "Pepparkakor" cookies, which you can buy at Ikea or in the US you can also find them at Cost Plus World Market or similar stores. I also used more like 15 or 16 cookies.
2 pounds (4 or 5) ripe Pears, peeled, cored, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp fine lemon zest
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough to a 12-inch round and fit it into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim the overhang to 1 inch, fold it under and crimp decoratively. Brush the rim with the egg wash and refrigerate the pieshell until chilled.
MAKE THE TOPPING: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, gingersnap crumbs, ginger and salt. Stir in the melted butter until large crumbs form.
MAKE THE FILLING: Preheat the oven to 350° F (176 C). In a large bowl, toss the pears with the cranberries, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. In a small bowl, toss the sugar with the cornstarch, then stir the sugar into the fruit.
Pour the fruit into the chilled pie shell (I found I had just a bit more than would fit). Pour the gingersnap crumbs onto the pie, carefully spreading them to the edge to cover the filling completely. Set the pie on a foil-lined baking sheet (in case stuff bubbles over). Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling; cover the pie loosely with foil if the top is browning too quickly. Let cool before slicing.
I heart film. - A little over a year ago I bought a Canon Ae-1 and last week I found the first roll of film I shot on it and finally had it processed (Its been a crazy year ...