I don’t know how to write this post, because this past week I haven’t done anything embarrassing. Or morally questionable. Or gross, or funny, or weird. I just had a normal week, and my life is actually going ok. Which is so boring for blog-purposes. So I guess I’ll just tell you about the time I made pies in jars and NOTHING WENT WRONG. I mean, I made them at my sister’s, and she’d run out of all purpose flour, so they had a cup of whole wheat pastry flour in them, but it didn’t even ruin them. I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON but I’m trying not to ask too many questions, ok, internet?
The reason they came about is because I got ragged on pretty hard at work for founding a pie shop and never bringing any pies into work. I think people assume that if you own a food business, you just have extra food items constantly on your hands that you don’t need to sell because the food industry is just so luxurious. Like I would go to sleep on a bed of pies, just because I could. Well, as most of you know, and the rest of you may have guessed, I’m no longer slinging pies during my spare time. For the most part, it was a wise decision (like, I totally sleep now!), but obviously it wasn’t an easy one to come to, and obviously I have my regrets. So pies are sort of a bittersweet thing for me at the moment. On the one hand, I have made a lot of fucking pies, and can now practically do it with my eyes closed. On the other hand…have you seen Bridesmaids? I feel kinda like Kristen Wiig when she is out at the bar with handsome brogue-y cop, and he’s like, you gotta bake! And she’s all, yeah, I don’t really do that anymore. Sad eyes, staring into her Guinness.
But then this month’s Food&Wine came out, and in it was a recipe my partners and I came up with! Which is totally cool, right? We’re like, legit. And even though I am not involved with the Bakeshop anymore, I gotta rep it. So I made our recipe for my coworkers, because I am a good coworker.
Then, I don’t know. I formatted some powerpoints correctly, sent some not-misspelled emails, and didn’t spill Indian food on my shirt at lunch. I KNOW.
What comes next? Am I….. Am I going to win the lottery???? Holy shit I totally am.
Pear and Fig Pie in a Jar
from Food and Wine
1 recipe pastry dough (I used my standby)
1 cup dried black Mission figs, stemmed and quartered (I used fresh brown turkey figs)
1 pound Bosc pears—peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups), plus 8 pear slices, for garnish (I used seckel)
2 1/2 cups apple cider
1 cup pear eau-de-vie (omitted)
1/4 cup honey
Two 1-inch-wide strips of lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup mascarpone
1/2 cup crème fraîche (I used sour cream)
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
On a floured work surface, roll out 1 disk of the dough to a 12-inch square. Cut the square into quarters and ease each piece of dough into a wide-mouth 1/2-pint jar. Repeat with the remaining dough. Refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Set the jars on a sturdy baking sheet and line each crust with foil, pressing it to the edges. Fill with pie weights or dried beans and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights. Press out any bubbles and bake the crusts for about 30 minutes longer, until golden brown and cooked through. Let cool.
MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING In a large saucepan, combine the quartered figs, diced pears, apple cider, eau-de-vie, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and salt and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the figs are plumped and the pears are tender, about 20 minutes. Strain the poaching liquid into a heatproof bowl. Discard the lemon zest. Set the fruit aside. Return the liquid to the saucepan and boil until it is reduced to a thick syrup, about 12 minutes.
Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast for about 7 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop the nuts.
MAKE THE MASCARPONE CREAM In a bowl, whisk the mascarpone with the crème fraîche, honey, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla and salt.
ASSEMBLE THE PIES Drizzle half of the pear-fig syrup into the pie crusts. Top with half of the mascarpone cream followed by all of the fruit and the remaining cream. Garnish with the pear slices, walnuts and the remaining syrup and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The pie crusts, fruit filling, syrup and cream can be refrigerated separately for up to 2 days. Recrisp the crusts before filling.