Pear Ginger Pie

Makes 1 pie

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold lard or vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice cold water

8 medium Bartlett pears, peeled
Juice of one small or 1/2 large lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons minute tapioca

5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
A pinch of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the dough, sift together the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Sprinkle in the pieces of cold butter and lard or shortening. Using your fingers, squeeze and rub the butter and lard or shortening into the flour mixture until the pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in the water and gently mix. When the dough barely comes together, wrap with plastic and form a disc. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or overnight.

On a floured counter top, roll chilled dough out to about 12 inches in diameter. Place dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate and gently push into the bottom of the dish letting the outside of the circle drape over the edges. Cut off excess dough and using a pinching motion, create a crimped edge. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and bake pie crust “blind” for 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the filling, slice the pears into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine sugar and tapioca and gently toss into the pears.

For the topping, cream together butter, sugar, ginger, mace, nutmeg, and salt. Using your fingers, work flour into butter mixture combining just until crumbly.

Remove the “blind” baked pie crust from the oven and turn temperature down to 375 degrees F. Pour pear filling into crust then sprinkle topping over the pears. Return pie to oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbling and golden. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature before serving.

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