Pear-Brioche Pie with Rye Crust
- For the Crust:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup rye flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- For the Pear Filling:
- 6 ripe Bartlett pears
- 1/4 cup poire William brandy, pear cider or apple cider
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground anise seed
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 cups (1-inch) crustless brioche cubes
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- For the Egg Wash:
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Adapted from wsj.com
In a large bowl, toss flours and salt to combine. Freeze 1 hour.
While Flour Freezes, Start Making Pear Filling:
Peel and core pears and cut into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, toss pears with liqueur, sugar and ground anise seed, until evenly coated. Let macerate at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
When ready to make crust, fill a large glass with ice and cover with water. Stir to make very cold. Put frozen flour mixture in the bowl of a food processor. Add cold butter and pulse until lumps of butter in mixture are between the size of a lentil and a chickpea, 8-10 times.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl, sprinkle vinegar over top and toss by hand until evenly mixed. Strain ice cubes from ice water. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons cold water over mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing to distribute. Grab a fistful of dough and squeeze: If it holds its shape but just cracks at the edges, you’ve added enough water. If it’s still crumbly, add more cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Divide dough into 2 disks. Flatten into 6-inch disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 2-24 hours.
When ready to assemble pie, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add cornstarch to pear filling and stir. Add brioche cubes and toss to coat.
Roll out one round of dough to ⅛- to ¼-inch thick and use it to line a 9-inch pie plate. Add filling. Dot the top of the filling with ½-inch pieces of butter. Roll out remaining round of dough and cover pie, trimming edge to 1 inch larger than pan. Dip your fingers in water and moisten dough between top and bottom crusts to seal. Tuck edge of sealed crusts under itself and flute with fingers or crimp with a fork. Cut vents in top of crust. Combine beaten egg and milk to make egg wash. Brush top of pie with egg wash. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees. Continue baking until crust is crisp and juices bubble from vents, 45-60 minutes. Let cool 1 hour before serving.