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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Comfort Food

It's cold out and changes of all sort have been a foot. The best thing to turn to is an old friend. One that you know will always be steadfast no matter what the window dressing is. And this week, that friend is the apple pie or my take on it.

Tart Apple Pear Pie with Gruyére

for the crust
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter cut into 1/2" cubes and chilled
1 teapoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6-8 tablespoons of ice water

for the filling
6 Granny Smith Apples
2 large Comice pears or Barlett pears
Juice of half a lemon
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Gruyere Cheese for grating on top

In a food processor or the old fashioned way with a pastry cutter, mix the flour, salt, and sugar together. Add the chilled butter. I like to put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes and I also freeze my flour. Storing flour in the freezer saves space in my tiny kitchen! Plus the food processor 6 - 8 times until the butter is broken up into the flour but not thoroughly blended. Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time and pulse, repeating until the dough forms small beads and sticks together with a pinch. It should not be wet all all. Roll into two balls and wrap in plastice warp and chill for at least an hour. It will keep up to a week.

Thinly slice the apples and pears. Squeeze the lemon over them and toss. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar and spices, add the apples and thoroughly toss.

Pre-heat the oven to 375. Roll out the dough and line a pie dish.

Add the filling and cover with the other piece of dough. Brush with water and sprinkle with a little sugar. Cut in slits at the top for venting.

Bake for 45 minutes on the low rack. Then add lots of cheese grated on the top and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the cheease just starts to brown.

Let cool and serve how you like, with ice cream, more cheese or whipped cream.

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