Tuesday, February 22, 2011

rustic pear anise pie (vegan and soy free)

this pie was inspired by a pie recipe found in the december/january issue of ready made magazine. it's not overly sweet, has a wonderful tartness, and the anise pairs perfectly with the pears (no pun intended).

crust ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus extra for flouring surfaces
2/3 cup very cold soy free earth balance (regular earth balance or butter could also be used)
2 tsps sugar
1/4-1/3 cup ice water

in the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour and sugar. add the earth balance and pulse until the mixture begins to form pea-sized crumbles. with the processor running, slowly pour the ice water down the feed tube until the dough just begins to stick together. dump the dough onto a floured surface and form into a disk. wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour. take the chilled dough and roll it large enough to fit into a 10 inch pie dish. place the dough in the pie dish, being careful not to stretch it. poke several holes along the base using a fork. place the dish in the refrigerator and allow to chill for an additional half hour.

preheat oven to 425 F and bake the chilled crust in the center of the oven, for about 20 minutes, or until it is a light golden brown. while the crust cools, you can prepare the filling.

filling ingredients:

7 barely ripe bosc pears, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
juice of 3 lemons
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour.
1 tablespoon arak or another anise flavored liqueur
1 tsp anise seeds, divided
1 dash cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 dashes bitters (i used an orange variety, but old fashioned or lemon bitters would also work well)

combine the sliced pears, lemon juice, and arak in a large bowl (the pears and lemon should be combined as soon as possible after slicing to prevent the pears from browning). in another bowl, combine the sugar, flour, anise seeds, cinnamon, salt, and bitters. gently combine the sugar mixture with the pears and transfer the filling to your cooled crust. cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil to prevent them from burning and bake the pie in the center of the oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until the pears are tender when poked. enjoy hot or cold!


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