As I was rolling out the dough for this holiday-inspired Pear Pie I couldn’t help thinking about my mom. When I was growing up my mom did (almost) all the cooking. My dad made fudge (which we called sludge) and grilled steak (which he called earthworms and salamanders). My mom made everything else. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sweet or savory. I developed my interest in food from watching my mom. However, I didn’t grow up watching my mom make pies. Sure there was the requisite back of the can pumpkin pie that showed up each November followed by a super sticky pecan pie in December. But these pies were made, at best, by rote and more likely grudgingly. Because my mom was far more interested in pulling out her copper pans and following Julia Child’s masterful path. In other words: tartes, oui, pies, non!
Yet, I humbly reply, I can bake a mean pie. For years I wondered where I picked up the knowledge. I realize flaky crust eludes many people. I’ve tried on this blog to share tips on making good pie dough and I’ve suffered the trolls who claim my method is a fail. Oh well. Life’s too short to care about the pastry police.
These days I’m far more likely to tell people to use whatever recipe for pastry with which they feel most comfortable and skip all the references to timing, finesse, and genetically cold hands.
So as the season commences here’s a lightly sweetened pear pie with just a hint of holiday spice. Stick your hands in a bowl of ice water and use whatever recipe for pastry you like. GREG