A few weeks before Thanksgiving our family starts to partake in annual holiday traditions. It’s the perfect time to be indoors, spending quality time with family, making memories, and it usually has something to do with cooking up a really delicious treat.
For many years now, my mom and I would bake a dessert for Thanksgiving, and we now carry on that tradition with the kids. It has become really special as they get older as they are more hands on and feel proud that they helped make something they will see served to everyone on Thanksgiving day. It’s so nice to spend this time with my mom too. When it comes to baking she’s the pro, and I am still learning from her. Honestly the kids just love knowing they can make a mess with the flour and be the first to taste test the final product, but one day I hope they will remember the fun they had and share this tradition with their families too. We even made it a day now, PIE DAY!!!
This year we are making a Deep Dish Pear & Cranberry Pie inspired by a recipe I found in Joanna Gaines cookbook “Magnolia Table”. This one does take a little bit of TLT, tender love and time. It’s a little over 2 hrs to make this amazing dessert but it will be well worth the time once you taste how good it is.
I think two of the most intimidating parts of baking are 1) making your own pie crust and 2) ensuring the butter is just the right amount of soft before using in a recipe. After trying this recipe I have a new found confidence for making my own pie crust and now you can too. I promise you it’s not as overwhelming as you may think and I break down all the steps and share some tips below. I also have a solution to #2! Butter usually takes a long time to soften (somewhere around 45 minutes) and I always find I either get tired of waiting and then the butter is really hard to mix in or I rush to soften it in the microwave just to find a puddle of wasted butter. With Country Crock’s new Baking Sticks there is no need to wait, it’s ready to mix right out of the refrigerator! They are made with sunflower oil and have a super soft and creamy texture which makes them great for baking delicious sweets. I used them in this recipe and love the way it turned out.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 6 ripe, yet still firm pears, cored and sliced (2 to 2 1/2 pounds total)
- 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
- See pastry for double-crust pie recipe
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
- Sugared cranberries, for garnish (optional)
Double-crust pastry instructions:
1. In a large bowl, stir together 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon salt.
2. Using a pastry blender, cut in 1/2 cup shortening and 1/4 cup of the Country Crock Unsalted Baking Stick until pieces are pea size.
3. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon ice water over part of the flour mixture; toss gently with a fork.
4. Push moistened dough to side of bowl.
5. Repeat with additional ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time (1/2 to 2/3 cup total), until all the flour mixture is moistened.
6. Gather mixture into a ball, kneading gently until it holds together. Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into a ball.
1.Preheat oven to 375°F. In an extra-large bowl, combine granulated sugar, flour, nutmeg, and ginger. Add pear slices and cranberries; toss gently to coat.
2. Prepare pastry for double-crust pie (see above). On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten one pastry ball. Roll it from center to edges into a circle 13 inches in diameter. Fold the pastry into quarters. Unfold the pastry into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Ease pastry into plate without stretching it. Transfer pear mixture into the pastry-lined pie plate. Trim pastry even with pie plate rim.
3. Roll remaining ball into a 12-inch-diameter circle. Using cookie cutters, cut a few small shapes from center of the pastry. Set shapes aside. Place pastry circle on filling; trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of plate. Fold top pastry under bottom pastry. Crip edge of the crust with your hands as desired. Brush top of pastry and dough cutouts with milk. Place cutouts on pastry, being careful not to cover openings. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
4. Place pie plate on a foil-lined baking sheet. If desired, sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake 65 to 70 minutes or until filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm. If desired, garnish with sugared cranberries.
*this post was sponsored by Country Crock, all opinions and images are my own*
Photography, Brian + Julie Florio
Video, Julie Florio