When you've made a few too many apple pies and need a change - but not a huge one - make a pear pie instead. Maybe don't even mention that this is a pear pie when you serve it and see the thoughtful and slightly confused looks on people's faces when they taste it.
Use fairly firm anjou pears for a stunning texture and sweet, mild flavor. Grate a pile of fresh nutmeg. Make a thick, rustic pie crust, preferably with lard and butter. Serve warm or cold, with ice cream or whipped cream, or with nothing because it's that tasty. And that's it. Pears and nutmeg, whoulda thunk? Recipe after the jump:
ANJOU PEAR AND NUTMEG PIE
2 1/2 lb firm-ripe Anjou pears, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 recipe pie crust for a double crust 9" pie
Prepare the dough for the crust and set to rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour. In the meantime, prepare the pears and toss in a large bowl with the flour, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice, and 2/3 cup sugar. Set aside to prep you crusts.
Preheat oven to 425F. Roll out the bottom crust and line a 9" deep-dish pie plate, trimming the overhang to about 1/2 inch. Fill the crust with the pear mixture. Top with the second crust, trim, and crimp the edges. Cut a cross in the middle of the top crust and fold back the corners to expose a square. Brush the crust (but not the edges) with a beaten egg, then sprinkle the remaining tablespoon sugar over top.
Bake pie on a baking sheet at 425F for20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375 and bake for an additional 45-55 minutes, until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown. Cool the pie on a rack for at least 2 hours before serving.