A Fork In The Road (and in a pear pie)

Rustic Pear Pie

Starring Pear Pie[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/39873771[/vimeo]
Have you ever found yourself at a place where the road unexpectedly splinters off into a couple of different directions and it’s up to you to decide which road to take? Most likely, you have. So have I. I peer down both roads just as far as I can see, scratching my head, trying to choose the one that will bring me to the best possible destination, all while having the most scenic and comfortable drive along the way. Now, let me just say that I’m not actually talking about a literal splitting road here. I’m describing one that life brings us to so absolutely brilliantly. I’ve found myself coming to some “forks in the road” lately, and have been considering the possibility that maybe, just maybe, these diverging roads before me are not so much about being the options for destinations themselves. They’re more representative of the choices for my state of mind while on my travel to where I will arrive; that perhaps there is only one actual destination, not many, and that place of arrival itself is of less importance than my mindset during my drive getting there. Hmm…

Rustic Pear Pie

Rustic Pear Pie

I’ll tell you a little something about myself, and this is just between you and I: I’m a bit of a control freak. I’m not someone who enjoys being in a state of mystery in a given situation, or having to wait for a longer period of time for an answer, especially if it may not be a positive one. I really don’t prefer that. I have the exhausting tendency to “rehearse” things in my mind, those unknown or unsolved things, using possible scenarios, thinking that I’m somehow preparing myself for a number of potential outcomes. It’s the unknown outcome that makes me uncomfortable; and I’m beginning to think that’s the issue. What I should be fixing my eye on is finding the fragrant fruit of the experience itself. I’ve always sort of wished I was more the type that has a “come-what-may” attitude about life -more in the moment and a bit less concerned about the “what-ifs”. But that’s not how God created me. He has a great sense of humor, and I’ve got my work cut out. Getting older, I’m learning that the destination that I thought was most important, really is just the whipped cream on top of the dessert. The sweetest part of life is the process of it, and that includes even the rough patches and the unknowns. As uncomfortable as it is to admit, I have no control over the outcome of so much of what life brings my way. I can only chose my reaction, my own behavior and outlook, in any given situation. It’s like choosing my road. The road can be one of willingness to fail and learn; of an open mind and a possible change of heart; of optimism that all will end exactly as it should; of deciding to take from an experience and use it to grow; OR, it can be one of resistance and being pushed, going kicking and fighting all the way.

Rustic Pear Pie

Rustic Pear Pie

Rustic Pear Pie

I believe that I’ll get to that destination that I was meant to arrive at, one way or another, one road or the other. Question is, will I resist along the way, or go willingly? I’d rather be at peace where I am in any moment in life than be fighting it. It takes a change in my perception and that’s part of the sweet work. It’s my journey that is the warm crust and the spiced, fragrant, juicy filling; and my arrival, the sweetened cream. And now, I’m hungry.

Taste what’s good and pass it on.


Rustic Pear Pie

Rustic Spiced Pear Pie with Almond Whipped Cream
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Crust ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
6 ounces cold butter, cubed
6 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 egg, beaten, for egg-wash
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, to sprinkle


-In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, the sugar and the salt; pulse a couple of times to blend; add the cold cubed butter, the water, the vanilla and almond extracts, and pulse for a minute or so until mixture is combined and dough ball begins to form (take care not to over-process); turn the dough out onto counter, form into a large disc and plastic wrap; place into refrigerator and allow to rest for ½ hour to an hour; prepare pear filling.

Spiced Pear Filling ingredients:

4 Bosc pears, peeled and quartered and cored, then sliced
2 D’Anjou pears, peeled and quartered and cored, then sliced
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons corn starch (use 3 tablespoons if pears are very juicy)
2 tablespoons chopped almonds
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch nutmeg
2 tablespoons sliced, toasted almonds for garnish


*Preheat oven to 400 degrees; very lightly grease a 9” pie plate, and also line a baking sheet with foil which you will use to place the pie on while it bakes.

-In a large bowl, toss all filling ingredients together gently, taking care not to break-up the pear slices, until well coated; set aside while you roll out the dough.

To Assemble pie:

-Remove dough from plastic wrap and turn out onto lightly floured work surface; using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about a “12 x 12” circle, about a ¼” thick; using the rolling pin, wrap the dough around and lay into the pie plate, gently, allowing the excess dough to hang over the sides.

-Pour the pear filling into the crust and fold the over-hanging dough over onto to pears, creating a fold-over, rustic crust all the way around.

– Using a pastry brush, brush some of the egg-wash along the folded-over crust, and sprinkle on the sugar around the crust.

-Place the pie onto the foil-lined baking sheet, and bake for about 50 minutes, until crust is golden-brown; remove from oven and allow pie to cool for a couple hours. Prepare the Almond-scented cream.

Almond Whipped Cream ingredients:

8 fl oz whipping cream, cold
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure almond extract


-In a the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or you can use a hand-mixer and a bowl), add the cold cream and begin to whip; once cream starts to thicken, sprinkle in the sugar and add the almond extract; whip until peaks form and refrigerate until ready to serve with pie.

To Plate:

-Slice cooled pie and garnish with a dollop of the Almond-scented cream and a sprinkle of sliced almonds.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Erica S. April 6, 2012, 1:06 am

    Oh my, almond whipped cream sounds amazing! And what a great combo with the spiced pear filling! yummmmy :)

  • Hannah April 6, 2012, 8:51 pm

    This looks incredible! I want to sink my teeth into a slice of that pie right now! Xx

  • Katie @ OhShineOn April 11, 2012, 7:40 pm

    I love the video tutorial here and the music. I definitely want to try this recipe soon, although I’m not a huge fan of pears. Do you think some combination of blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries will work just as well?

    • thecozyapron April 11, 2012, 8:14 pm

      Hi Katie, thanks for your question. If you’re not the biggest fan of pears, I would say that apples would be the closest as far as this particular recipe’s ingredients, or once peaches/nectarines are more readily available, firmer ones would work well. The berries are great, but I worry that they may cook down too much into a “juice” for this rustic-style, longer baking dough. Maybe the berries for a “crisp”?

  • Ashley May 21, 2012, 12:55 pm

    Beautiful video and recipe! Wondering what version of the song you used for the video?

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