Cardamom Pear Pie

by sarah

I love pie. Since going gluten-free, pie has been my savior on more than one occasion. I found this fabulous gluten-free pie crust recipe (so good that gluten-eaters can’t tell the difference!), and now I can whip up all kinds of tasty GF desserts (not to mention pub pies, empanadas, and all sort of other things that call for a doughy crust). I’m always experimenting with new pie fillings, and of course, I love to find ways to incorporate a little cardamom whenever possible, so I’ve been working on this Cardamom Pear Pie recipe. It’s taken a few tries to get it right (the first one was way too cardamom-y!), but I think I’ve got it down now.

The filling is loosely based on the Apple Pie recipe from the Joy of Cooking, but I’ve made a lot of changes and additions. I make a GF crust from scratch, but it’ll work just as well with a gluten-filled crust, or any kind of store-bought crust. It’s really all about the filling!

Cardamom Pear Pie:

1 9-inch pie crust (from scratch or store-bought, gluten-free or gluten-filled)

2 pears (I use d’anjou, but any kind will work)
1 apple (something sweet – honeycrisp, gala and ambrosia are my favorites)
1/2 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Thinly slice the apple and pears, then toss in a big bowl with the rest of the ingredients and let them sit while you make the pie crust (or about 15 minutes if you’re using a prepared crust). When the pie crust is ready, toss the filling again, and then layer the fruit in the crust, making sure to get a nice even mix of apples and pears. If there’s any syrupy juice left in the bottom of the bowl, drizzle it over the pie once all the fruit is in.

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 and bake for another 45-55 minutes, until the fruit is soft and the juice around it is bubbly. If you’re using a GF crust, you may want to cover the pie with foil once the crust starts to brown (GF crusts often brown a lot faster than non-GF – I usually cover mine after about 15 minutes). Also, I like single-crust pies, so the fruit on top gets a little browned and crispy – if you don’t like that, it works just as well with another crust on top!

Let the pie sit for 10-15 minutes after it comes out of the oven, so the juices can gel a little bit before you slice it. Also so you don’t burn your tongue on the hot filling. Trust me. I speak from experience.

This pie is super-tasty chilled or warm, by itself or with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. I don’t know how long it keeps, because in our house, it rarely lasts more than 2 days. Enjoy!