A Perfect Day to Make Pear Pie in Sacramento

Last week I was in Sacramento, CA getting ready for a workshop at the home of Elise Bauer of  Simply Recipes. I met Elise last Spring when the BlogHer Food ’12 Conference took place in Seattle. The wonderful Tess Masters (The Blender Girl) thought it would be great to do an Art of the Pie workshop with a few of her blogger buddies and a few weeks after the conference, we made arrangements for the session to be held at Elise’s lovely home in Carmichael.

So, I packed up my rolling pins and headed to SeaTac where I boarded my flight. Workshop participant Amber Stott (Awake at the Whisk) picked me up at the airport and then proceeded to give me a little auto-tour of Sacramento including location of the Capitol Mall Farmers Market that takes place every Thursday. Amber has boundless energy and enthusiasm as you can see in this photo of her holding her happy dough.

Amber Stott with Her Happy Dough

I was very interested to learn of the California Food Literacy Center, the non-profit which she birthed.

Our tour took us next to Ginger Elizabeth. What a delightful little spot to enjoy an afternoon pick me up of Aztec chocolate not to mention releasing a lovely rush of endorphins into me!

A lovely afternoon break at Ginger Elizabeth

I bought a few chocolate goodies and with my bag of treats in hand, we popped back into Amber’s bright yellow Beetle. Then on to pick up our workshop supplies.

It’s super fun to go to out-of-town grocery stores and check out all the local artisan items. Corti Brothers fit the bill nicely. I loved the display of really old pasta cutters as we entered the store. I think many of them would make sensational tools to cut strips for lattice top pie making and you can bet I’ll be keeping my eyes open for them.

Old Pasta Cutters

I spent quite a bit of time looking at all the artisan fruit vinegars and couldn’t leave the store without one made from D’Anjou Pears.

The supplies were stowed in the back and we headed to Elise’s for visiting, settling in and supper. Three cases of Frog Hollow Warren Pears had arrived the day before and I opened them up first thing to be greeted with exquisite fruit.

Frog Hollow Warren Pears

I cut into one and sliced it up for Amber and Elise to taste before prepping two pies (one GF and one GFull) for the following day’s workshop snack. The Warren pears that Farmer Al grows have a subtle vanilla flavor which is perfect for pie. These were beauties and ripe and ready.

Pear Pie is one that you may not have thought of making. But, it’s easy and I hope you will enjoy this recipe. It’s simple, too. Just substitute pears for apples in your favorite filling. I’m sharing mine today and hope that you enjoy it.

Happy Pie Makers! Tess Masters (The Blender Girl), Jenny Lauck (BlogHer.com), Tom Bauer, Amber Stott (Awake at the Whisk), Elise Bauer (Simply Recipes)

9” Deep Dish

8 cups ripe pears (skin on), quartered and cored
1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
2 gratings nutmeg
1/2 t allspice
1 T cider vinegar
2 t butter cut into small pieces
1 recipe double crust pie dough
1-2 T sugar

1 egg white mixed with 2-3 T of water

Slice pears in chunks or slices 1/2 inch slices.
In a large mixing bowl put all ingredients except butter and mix lightly until most of the surfaces are covered.
Pour into an unbaked pie crust and dot with butter.
Roll out 2nd crust and place on top; crimp edges with a fork.
Paint with egg white wash.
Sprinkle sugar on top.
Cut vent holes.
Pre-heat oven to 425F and bake for 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to 375F and bake for 40 minutes longer.

Here’s a link to my Art of the Pie Dough (this is a Gluten-Full dough, as in made with All Purpose Flour).

And for those who prefer to be Gluten Free, below is a version of a GF dough I have been making recently with great results.

2-1/2 GF Pastry Mix* (see below for ingredients)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup lard
1 cold egg
1 T vinegar
1/4-1/2 cup ice water
1/2 t salt

2 cups tapioca Starch
2 cups cornstarch
1 cup potato starch flour
4 cup sweet rice flour

*Many thanks to Rebecca Knox of Seattle who shared her GF pie making skills with me recently and the GF Pastry Mix above.

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  1. says

    Best pie I’ve ever made, thanks to you! Thank you for letting me show off my city. So proud of local spots like Corti Brothers & Ginger Elizabeth! Your joyful energy really made pie day great. Thank you for your patience and smiles. I definitely hope we bring stand-up comedian Tess along for all our kitchen time. She’s too funny! Elise’s home was such a perfect spot for this wonderful, memorable day. I feel lucky to have been part of it!! Hugs to all of you! :)

  2. says

    Hi Kate,
    Thank you so much for your fabulous and inspiring class on the art of PIE! We all had so much fun and I love being able to put a delicious pie together without a recipe, or a food processor for that matter. Thank you especially for your gracious spirit which blessed my home all weekend. Please come again!

  3. says

    Kate, thankyou SO much for sharing your incredible knowledge, enthusiasm, good humour, and passion for “all things PIE” with us. I still can’t wipe the smile off my face after such a sensational class. I can’t wait to bring you down to L.A for another one. Love you xxx

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