Pear-Cranberry & Crème Fraîche Pie

8 servings
45 min prep time
3 hrs total time

Pie get's a festive update with the addition of ruby red cranberries and crème fraîche from Alana of Feast Fix Flair. 

Ingredients

Pie Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 cup (8 ounces) Vermont Creamery Unsalted Cultured Butter - 86% Butterfat cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 tablespoons Vermont Creamery Crème Fraîche

2 tablespoons ice cold water

Filling

2 cups water

1 cup granulated sugar

8 ounces (about 2 cups) fresh cranberries

3 pounds (about 5 to 6) bartlett pears (or similar), peeled and cored

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon firmly packed dark or light brown sugar

3 tablespoons tapioca starch

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste  

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Few Dashes Angostura bitters, optional

1 large egg

1 teaspoon water

Turbinado or raw sugar, for sprinkling

 *Substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Directions

  • STEP 1

    Make pie crust by, whisking  flour, salt, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Toss in butter pieces and use your hands to mix and cut it into the flour. Stop when the butter pieces are pea-sized, being careful not to over-mix. Sprinkle the crème fraîche and cold water over the flour mixture and use your hands to mix in until the dough looks sandy. Turn it out onto a clean work surface and use a bench scraper to drag the dough from one side of the surface to the other. Gather together in a pile and repeat this no more than two more times. You should be able to divide the dough into two pieces and shape each into a flat disc. Wrap the discs tightly in plastic food wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. The dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.

  • STEP 2

    Heat oven to 425°F and position baking racks in the middle and bottom of the oven.

  • STEP 3

    Combine 2 cups of water and the granulated sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil on high. Add the fresh cranberries and immediately turn the heat to low. Simmer for 2 minutes, or until all the berries have "popped". Drain through a colander and set aside to let cranberries cool.

  • STEP 4

    Thinly slice half of the pears and cut the remaining pears into 1/2-inch wedges. In a large mixing bowl, toss together with brown sugar, tapioca starch, vanilla bean paste (or extract), kosher salt, and a few dashes of Angostura bitters (if using). Set aside.

  • STEP 5

    Once dough has chilled, remove one disc from fridge and let rest to warm up for 5 to 10 minutes. Unwrap disc and place it on a lightly floured work surface, lightly sprinkle the top of the disc with flour. Tap the dough a few times from left to right with a rolling pine, lift up and give it a quarter turn and repeat. Then roll the dough, from the center out, lifting and turning a quarter turn every time you roll. Roll until the dough is about 1/8-inch thick and roughly 12 inches in diameter.

  • STEP 6

    Transfer dough to pie pan by rolling it around your rolling pin and then rolling out into the pan. Press the dough firmly into the bottom and sides of the pan. You'll want about 3/4-inch to an inch overhang, so trim any excess with some kitchen shears. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator while rolling out second disc.

  • STEP 7

    Flour your surface again and roll the second disc of dough into 12- to 13-inch circle. Use a sharp paring knife and ruler to cut strips. (Strips can be any width you want and can vary in widths if you'd like.) Transfer strips to foil lined baking sheet (dull side up), and place in the fridge to chill while you mix the filling together.

  • STEP 8

    Spread 2 tablespoons of crème fraîche into the bottom of your pie crust-lined pan. Fold cranberries into the pear mixture then transfer to the crust, packing somewhat tightly so that the top crust doesn't sink in while baking.

  • STEP 9

    Remove the prepared strips from fridge and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Weave strips into a lattice top. Trim strips to fit the pan and roll bottom crust over, pressing and crimping to form a seal.

  • STEP 10

    In a small bowl, whisk egg and 1 teaspoon of water together to make an egg wash. Brush crust with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place on foil-lined sheet and transfer to lowest rack of oven. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 375°F and move pie and sheet to middle rack to bake for 30-45 more minutes, or until the pears are soft (test with a toothpick). You'll be able to tell if the pie is done because the filling will be bubbling and the crust will be golden brown. If edges are browning too quickly, gently and loosely cover with foil.

  • STEP 11

    Cool on a wire rack for at least 45 minutes to an hour before serving. Serve (with ice cream or whipped crème fraîche) and enjoy!

Alana Kysar

Alana Kysar_Image

Alana Kysar

Vermont Creamery friend and fan, Alana Kysar shares stories about coming together around the table, be it cooking, baking, dining, or nerding out on provisions through her blog Fix Feast Flair. Born and raised in the cultural melting pot of Hawaii, Alana draws inspiration from her childhood, travels, and her current home of Los Angeles. To learn more about Alana, visit her blog, Feast Fix Flair.