This pie was inspired by one of my favorite television shows, Pushing Daisies. In one particular episode, Charlotte Charles (“Chuck”) bakes a pear pie with gruyere baked into the crust, for her aunts. I found the notion of sweet and savory charming and mouthwatering and I thought it might be fun to add some apples as well, since they’re perfect for fall. Happy pie-making! - tiptoesinthekitchen —tiptoesinthekitchen
Test Kitchen Notes
The crust is like the best cheese straw you've ever had—my whole apartment smelled incredible while the pie was baking. The pear and apple combo is great and I also loved the spice and vanilla in the filling. This pie is a savory-tangy-sweet flavor explosion. - Merrill —The Editors
2 ½ cups
unbleached all-purpose flour
about 1/3 cup
ice cold water
shredded gruyere cheese
cored and peeled pears (I used 2 bosc and 2 bartletts)
Place a medium sized bowl and fork in the freezer. Combine the flour, salt and shredded gruyere in a bowl, mixing the cheese into the flour mixture with your hands.
Dice the butter into ¼ inch pieces. Place butter and the flour-cheese mixture in a large zip lock bag, seal and roll over with a rolling pin until the butter is combined. Place the bag in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Pour the ingredients from the bag into the cold bowl and work together with your fingertips or/and the cold fork until the mixture becomes pebbly. Gradually drizzle the ice water (excluding the ice) and the vinegar over the mixture, blending with your fingertips and the fork. Add more water if necessary - a tablespoon at a time, until you achieve the right consistency.
Form two discs out of the dough, working each in your palm. Wrap them each tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
When the filling is ready, roll one of the discs out onto a floured surface, dusting it with flour as you work. Transfer to the pie pan, pressing the dough into it and leaving about an inch of overhang. Crimp or style however you like. Add the filling.
Roll out the second disc the same way and place it over top the pie, making a few slits in the center or, if you choose to cut out decorative leaves, you can place them on top of the filling instead.
Combine 1 egg yolk with a splash of milk and brush over the crust. Sprinkle with demura sugar. Wrap some foil on the edges of the crust (so they don’t burn).
Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream
Cut the peeled and cored pears and apples into inch size pieces and place them in a bowl.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the fruit, sugars, spices, salt, vanilla and vanilla bean seeds and pod.
Stir and simmer on medium to medium-low heat for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then remove from heat, stir in the corn starch and let the filling cool to room temperature.