Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pear Anise Pie

 Whenever I bake a pie I always picture that scene in Disney's Snow White where she's humming to herself and effortlessly putting a pie together with what looks like the softest most delicious dough of all time. What's always been so sad about that (other than the fact that I'm comparing myself to a cartoon) is the fact that both times I've attempted to bake a pie from scratch my dough never turns out that way. It usually crumbles and sticks to the board and I end up having to press it into the pie pan with hardly enough to go up the sides. Seeing as I'm the only one in the kitchen when this happens I resigned myself to keep the whole thing a secret and silently move on to pastry I was good at.

In the last few days though some things have come together to make me realize that I really can have that Snow White pie, (minus the animation and the little bird helpers, because really how gross is that?).

This week I got a free trial issue of Ready Made magazine, (which I'd honestly never heard of before but hey it was in my mailbox) and oddly instead of just tossing it in the trash, I flipped through it a while and suddenly from the very back these magnificently juicy photos of latticed pie struck my eye (and my heart strings). There was an article about a little pie place in Brooklyn, NY called Four and Twenty Blackbirds , and (be still my heart) recipes! Unique ones too. There was a recipe for a Pear Anise Pie (pear!) that I instantly decided I was dying to make but it called for a top and bottom crust. Nooooooooo! So, aware of my personal limits I sadly filed it away in the back of my mind and wished I was a better baker...
Hm... "baker". That just brings me to part two of our Journey, my recent discovery of my current girl crush Joy The Baker! I honestly couldn't tell you how I stumbled upon her blog, (you know the interwebz) but once I did I couldn't stop reading it.

And the further I read the closer fate lead me to finding her video on how to make a double crusted pie. And it turned out to be so simple. And the stupid thing, my whole problem was flour, I wasn't sprinkling it on the top and bottom to keep it from sticking, ugh! It's funny how sometimes you just need to see somebody else do something for you to figure it out. As for the lattice part  YOUTUBE! Although it really isn't that hard to figure out, luckily I got to try it out on a pretty forgiving (colorless) pie filling  and I think it looks pretty good to be my first one. As for flavor? The crust is amazing, however, Anise I came to find out has a flavor like black licorice (it's what's in absinthe) so, if you absolutely can not stand that flavor (like my boyfriend) then don't make this pie. I personally only mostly dislike black licorice and I thought the pie was just perfect. I think it compliments the pear in a way you wouldn't expect and is really amazingly good if you give it a chance. It just sort of smells like the taste of licorice, it really comes off as more of an apple-y flavor if you can believe it. I think if I made it again I might try and switch out the anise extract for almond extract and see if that was a better at pleasing the crowd. Or maybe just leave it the way it is, so I can keep it all for myself.

P.S. Swiss Miss + Kahlua = Win

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