Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ginger Lemon Pear Pie

Hot tea with lemon and ginger is what my Mom always would suggest I drink whenever I had a cold or was feeling a bit under the weather.  She was onto something, because it does always seem to help. This lemon and ginger combination is also a key part of her hot toddies she mixes when the temperatures drop, mixing them into bourbon with a bit of honey.  This week I had picked up some sort of bug that was leaving me feeling like I needed a bit of lemon and ginger, but it was tough to drink hot tea with it, as it has been over 80 degrees in Minnesota all week.  Lemonade with honey and ginger seemed like a more soothing combination, and relying on a netty pot seemed like a better way to clear the head.  All of this lemon and ginger I have been consuming had me thinking about how the combination could be used in a delicious autumn dessert.  Afterall, a week of being under the weather deserves a delicious dessert, at least in my mind. 

A fruit pie sounded marvelous, so a fruit pie it would be!  I was passing through the produce department on the way out of work, and I decided that the ripe pears all lined up neatly were what I wanted!  Sweet, ripe, juicy pears just sounded good to me, and I thought they would marry well with the lemon and fresh ginger in a deep dish pie. 

I never make a regular sized pie afterall, it has to be deep dish and have plenty of fruit deliciousness in the filling to please me.  I decided that the crust needed to be lemon scented as well, me not being one to ever make a simple plain pie crust.  The filling was to be ginger laced, with plenty of lemon and a little spice, just sweet enough, but not overly so.  At first I wanted to make a lattice top pie, but then I got lazy and just cut cute little hearts in the top. 

It smelled wonderful while baking, like spices and lemon, and I was grateful to actually be able to enjoy the aroma after being stuffed up earlier in the week.  I was rather proud of it as it emerged from the oven, all perfectly golden with the cute little hearts on top.

So much prettier than my last pie attempt, which was delicious but not so pretty.  The sugar on top sparkled and the pears peaking through the hearts were calling my name and tempting me to scoop out a section before it cooled.  It smelled heavenly, and waiting to dive in was the hard part as always... 

When I finally got to dive into a piece, it was wonderful!  The sweet pears with a hint of spice, ginger and tart lemon inside the crispy flaky lemon scented crust!  I served it warm with some of my silky almond chipotle chili ice cream and it was wonderful! 

You would have thought by the end of this week I would be tired of ginger and lemon, but not so much!  I think I could have a pie like this one every weekend and be happy.  If you have access to ripe pears, you should give this a try!  No need to be under the weather the week before of course... you always deserve a delicious pie!  This makes plenty to share with others as well, so you can share the comfort dessert love!

Ginger Lemon Pear Pie
Makes One 9 inch deep dish pie

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 Tbsp maple sugar (or granulated sugar)
1 tsp sea salt
a stick plus 6 Tbsp cold Earth Balance vegan butter
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
about 5-6 Tbsp cold water

12 large pears cut into medium cubes
1/2 cup Plus 2 Tbsp maple sugar (or brown sugar)
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
juice of one large lemon
2 Tbsp organic lemon zest
1 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp flour

coconut milk, for brushing
turbinado sugar, for topping
To make the crust, in a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, sea salt, and lemon zest.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until it is in pea sized pieces.  Mix in vanilla, lemon juice and just enough water to create a smooth dough that holds together but isn't too sticky.  Add more water if needed, and knead slightly until a smooth dough is created.  Divide into 2 pieces and shape into rounds.  Cover and refridgerate until workable at least 30 minutes.  Roll each out into a 13 inch round using parchment underneath and floured rolling pin.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  To make filling, mix together all ingredients in a large bowl.  Place bottom crust into a deep dish pie pan and fit to edges.  Pour filling into bottom crust, then carefully place top crust over and crimp edges together.  Brush top crust with a little coconut milk, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Pierce top crust a few times, and place in the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes then reduce oven to 375 (cover with foil if getting too brown) and bake for another  45 minutes to 1 hour until bubbling and pears are tender.  Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least and hour.  Serve with ice cream!


  1. I love the look of your rustic pie! The pears along with all those spices is a unique blend-I do not think I have ever had pear pie. Something I need to try-yum!

  2. This is s great combination of flavors for a pear pie, I love it! I mis-read it at first and thought it was just a ginger lemon pie! :) This sounds much better with all those pears!

  3. Lovely combination of flavors! Sounds perfect!

  4. I love the colors in the filling.

  5. That looks very filling and warm, Amy. Hope you have started to feel better!

  6. Oh, how yummy! I've never made a pear pie...but it sounds amazing! And your cut outs are SO cute...great looking crust~

  7. Amy, this looks wonderful and so fall perfect! I'm licking my lips with delight :)

  8. I can just imagine you coming back from a run and feasting on this after imagining it the whole way, Amy! Love ginger and lemon but great touch with the pear in there, too! Bon weekend. J xo