Thursday, December 26, 2013

Raspberry and Pear Pie

My local health food store is smack-dab- in the middle between where I live and where I work, which is super convenient.  I find myself there a few times a week – anything I can do to avoid driving to our Walmart or Meijer for just those few forgotten things on the grocery list. Besides, I prefer spending my money in local establishments.

At the checkout counter I always grab a copy of “Delicious Living,” the free magazine on display; you know the type – heavy on the advertisements and light on the substance. Lots of suggestions for vitamin supplements and homeopathic recommendations. For example, here is what they published as 10 ways to “Survive the Holiday Stress.”

1.       Eat hard-boiled eggs
2.       Employ Chinese medicine
3.       Moisturize with aromatherapy
4.       Root for fresh ginger
5.       Prioritize meditation
6.       Shield with vitamin D
7.       Energize with herbals
8.       Shun sugar
9.       Take magnesium at night
10.   Schedule restoration

 My method of dealing with holiday stress? Eat another portion of whatever is being served. Seriously.

The BEST thing about this magazine is the recipes and this pie is an example of an excellent one. It comes from page 30 of the December 2013 edition. (I reduced the sugar. Changes are reflected below.)

Here’s what you need:
Two pie crusts
2-3 pounds ripe pears –peeled and cut in ¾ inch pieces
2 T honey
2 T white grape juice (you might also use orange or apple juice)
Pinch of salt
2 C frozen raspberries
½ t vanilla
¼ C flour
5 T natural cane sugar – divided
1 egg, beaten
1 T milk

Here’s what you do:
Prepare the bottom crust by fitting it in a 9-inch pie plate. Fold the extra edges under and crimp them decoratively. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until golden. Note: check the crust from time to time to see if any of the soft edges have slumped over. If they do, just take a wooden spoon and reshape the crust, kinda sticking the semi-raw dough back on to the pie plate.

Meanwhile: combine the pears, honey, juice and salt in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat for no longer than 5 minutes. You do not want mushy fruit! Just soften it a bit. Transfer pears to a bowl to cool a bit. Add the raspberries, vanilla, flour, and 4 T sugar. Blend gently. Pour fruit into warm pie crust. Roll out top crust and carefully place over fruit. Decoratively crimp the edges being careful because the pie plate is now hot. Create an egg wash by whisking the egg and milk together. Brush this over the top crust and then sprinkle the remaining 1 T sugar over.

Continue baking for another 60 minutes – covering the edges with foil after 30 minutes have passed. Crust should be brown and filling should be bubbly.

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