Rustic Spiced Pear Pie with Almond Whipped Cream

Crust ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
6 ounces cold butter, cubed
6 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 egg, beaten, for egg-wash
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, to sprinkle

Preparation:

-In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, the sugar and the salt; pulse a couple of times to blend; add the cold cubed butter, the water, the vanilla and almond extracts, and pulse for a minute or so until mixture is combined and dough ball begins to form (take care not to over-process); turn the dough out onto counter, form into a large disc and plastic wrap; place into refrigerator and allow to rest for ½ hour to an hour; prepare pear filling.

Spiced Pear Filling ingredients:

4 Bosc pears, peeled and quartered and cored, then sliced
2 D’Anjou pears, peeled and quartered and cored, then sliced
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons corn starch (use 3 tablespoons if pears are very juicy)
2 tablespoons chopped almonds
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch nutmeg
2 tablespoons sliced, toasted almonds for garnish

Preparation:

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees; very lightly grease a 9” pie plate, and also line a baking sheet with foil which you will use to place the pie on while it bakes.

-In a large bowl, toss all filling ingredients together gently, taking care not to break-up the pear slices, until well coated; set aside while you roll out the dough.

To Assemble pie:

-Remove dough from plastic wrap and turn out onto lightly floured work surface; using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about a “12 x 12” circle, about a ¼” thick; using the rolling pin, wrap the dough around and lay into the pie plate, gently, allowing the excess dough to hang over the sides.

-Pour the pear filling into the crust and fold the over-hanging dough over onto to pears, creating a fold-over, rustic crust all the way around.

- Using a pastry brush, brush some of the egg-wash along the folded-over crust, and sprinkle on the sugar around the crust.

-Place the pie onto the foil-lined baking sheet, and bake for about 50 minutes, until crust is golden-brown; remove from oven and allow pie to cool for a couple hours. Prepare the Almond-scented cream.

Almond Whipped Cream ingredients:

8 fl oz whipping cream, cold
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure almond extract

Preparation:

-In a the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or you can use a hand-mixer and a bowl), add the cold cream and begin to whip; once cream starts to thicken, sprinkle in the sugar and add the almond extract; whip until peaks form and refrigerate until ready to serve with pie.

To Plate:

-Slice cooled pie and garnish with a dollop of the Almond-scented cream and a sprinkle of sliced almonds.