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Recipe Fri Dec 13 2013
If you're still wondering what to make for your holiday dessert, look no further. Bang Bang's spectacular Pear Brandy Mince Pie is like biting into Christmas. And yes, this pie calls for secular specificity -- I'm sure there is a pie out there that is like biting into Hanukkah, but this is not it. That said, I'm pretty positive that people of all faiths will really, really enjoy eating it.
This pie is great for home cooks because most of the cooking happens outside of the oven, so you can taste the filling and track its progress without having to wait until it's baked. And while it has a lot of ingredients and is a little more time consuming than most pies, you don't have to worry about rolling out a perfect top crust, and can hide any imperfections with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Still feeling sheepish after Thanksgiving's pie debacle? Bang Bang is here to help you with a few expert tips:
Don't take any shortcuts with this pie (or any pie for that matter). Be prepared to spend a few days on it -- the extra time makes this pie more special to share with family and friends.
Make a proper crust (no food processors, no shortening, and no vodka). Or, buy dough balls directly from Bang Bang for $6 if you don't trust yourself.
Give the filling a lot of time in the fridge to let the flavors develop before you fill the crust, and let the dough rest after you roll it out to make it easier to handle.
After the dough is shaped in your pie pan (but before you fill it), freeze the dough for a few hours. The faster a pie shell goes from cold to hot in the oven, the better it will turn out.
Pear Brandy Mince Pie
3 T butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 T Molasses
1/4 cup brandy
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t clove
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt
1 t lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped cranberries
4oz. dried cranberries
4oz. golden raisins
2oz. toasted chopped walnuts
One recipe pie dough.
4 T butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 t molasses
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
Cream butter sugar and molasses until fluffy and light in color
Combine dry ingredients together in a large bowl
Add dry to butter with short bursts in the mixer, mix only until crumbly then transfer to a large bowl and toss briefly to gather any loose flour
Melt butter in a large pot. Add pears, sugar, molasses, brandy and lemon juice and cover. Leave over medium heat until liquid is boiling and pears are tender
Using a large strainer, remove the pears and continue to reduce the liquid until syrupy
Combine the pears and the syrup with the remaining ingredients and let the filling chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Remove 1 C of the filling and puree, then mix the puree back into the rest of the filling
Pour filling into a 9" unbaked, cold or frozen pastry crust
Top with crumble topping and bake at 375 for 15 minutes, then turn to 350 for 25-30 minutes