Apple Pear Pie in a Cast Iron Skillet
Perfect Pie Crust
12 TB very cold unsalted butter, diced
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 TB sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 - 8 TB ice water
Apple Pear Pie filling
2 lbs apples (I used honeycrisp) peeled, cored and chopped into chunks (or quarter or sliced)
2 lbs Bosc Pears (or some other type of firm pear), peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
1 lemon, zested
1 orange, zested
2 TB lemon juice
1 TB orange juice
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling the top
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1 egg, whisked with 1 TB of water for the egg wash
Preheat the oven to 400' F
No prep-work needed for the cast iron skillets.
Note: I put my food processor bowl and blade in the refrigerator and chilled before using. The less opportunity your butter and shortening have to warm up, the better the crust.
Place the flour, salt and sugar in the food processor. Pulse a few times to mix it all up. Add the butter and shortening and pulse 8 - 12 times, until the butter is pea sized. While pulsing the machine, add in the ice water through the feed tube until the dough forms into a ball.
Turn the dough ball out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a ball. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Just before the dough is done chilling, prepare your filling by combining the apples, pears, lemon and orange zest and juices, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
Take one half of the dough out (leaving the other in the fridge until you're ready to use). Because I used 2 small skillets, half of this dough will be for one little 5" pie, top and bottom crust. If I had used a 9" or 10" skillet, it would've been just the bottom crust.
Divide in half (set half aside for the top) and on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and drape it over the skillet. Gently fit the dough into bottom and sides of the pan and allow the dough to extend 1/2" over the edge, trimming the dough away as needed.
If you notice that your filling is very wet and moist, don't be afraid to sprinkle some corn starch on the bottom crust before adding the filling
Fill the pie with half of your apple mixture. Brush the edges of the dough with an egg wash.
With the other half that you just set aside, roll and place on top of the pie, trimming the edges to about 1" over the edge. Tuck and pinch and crimp the the two edges together. Make a couple of slits on top.
Or....Cut into 1" strips, laying them on top of the pie and weaving to make a lattice top. Here's a great demo on How to make a lattice pie crust: http://www.annies-eats.com/2010/11/19/how-to-make-a-lattice-pie-crust/
Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Brush the tops of your pies with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Take strips of aluminum foil and cover the edges of your crust (so they don't brown and burn too quickly). Place the pie on a foil line baking sheet (this will catch the messy juices that will bubble over).
Bake for about 45 minutes (if you made one large 9" or 10" pie, you will need to bake it for 1 to 1 1/4 hours), until the tops are brown and the juices in the pie begin to bubble out.
Serve warm, with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Pairs Well With
I saw where someone had baked a pie in a cast iron skillet (thought that was totally cool!). Then I watched something about pie's on one of the cooking channels. By then pie was totally on the brain. Not only did I want to bake a pie. This pie was inspired by Ina Garten