December 21st, 2012
Crunch time! I hope you’re not feeling it but, truth be told, I am. I’m working on something new (can’t wait to tell you about it in the new year), getting over being sick, trying to prep for Christmas, getting ready for a vacation, taking care of the boys while my sitter is out of town. You get the picture.
I’m working hard to carry myself with grace and gratitude. I’m not always successful—in fact, I’ve had a few recent epic failures—but I know that I’m exactly where I want to be. Lucky enough to have two healthy, happy boys by my side. Grateful to be able to give my loved ones gifts and make them a big holiday dinner. Blessed that we can travel. Happy that my health is on the mend. And excited (so excited!) about new opportunities ahead.
I’m overwhelmed, for sure, but thankful. So very thankful. And, honestly, that’s all I have for you today. Well, that and this Chocolate Crumb Pear Pie.
I whipped this up while looking for an alternative to apple pie. Pear was an easy go-to, but I wanted something that felt more fun than just pear pie, so I thought to add chocolate. (Because what’s more fun than chocolate?!) Chocolate and pear are generally a sophisticated combination. Case in point: this Chocolate Pear and Pistachio Tart. Then I was struck with the idea of chocolate crumbs. Yes!
Making chocolate crumb is just as easy as making regular cinnamony crumb, but way more playful. As a result, this pie teeters on a fine line between traditional and unconventional which, if you ask me, is just the place where a great pie should be.
Add this to your holiday baking list. You’ll be grateful you did.
Pear Pie with Chocolate Crumble
(can be shared with kids 12+ mos)*
Makes one 9″ pie
For the pear pie:
Simple, perfect pie dough, enough for one 9″, single-crust pie (1/2 the recipe)
5 large pears, peeled, cored & cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the chocolate crumble:
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sweetened cocoa powder
1. Preheat oven to 375. Remove pie dough from the fridge (if using dough that has thawed on the counter, be sure to refrigerate it so that it’s cold and firm before using) and place on a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into a 13″ round with even thickness throughout, turning, flipping and lightly flouring the dough as necessary as you go. Carefully fold dough into quarters to transfer it to a 9″ pie plate. Unfold and gently ease the dough into the pie plate and up the sides. Trim excess with kitchen shears or a paring knife. Set aside in fridge.
2. In a large bowl, toss pear with sugar, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
3. Make the crumb: Add butter, flower, sugar and cocoa powder to a large bowl. Using your hands, work the ingredients to combine well and crumbs form. Pinch some of the crumbs together to form bigger crumbs.
4. Remove crust from fridge and add pears. Top with crumb topping. Add pie to oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the crust is golden and the crumb has turned a rich, chocolate brown. If at any point the crust is starting to brown too much, take the pie out of the oven and carefully cover with aluminum foil before return the pie to the oven to finish baking.
*Note: While there is nothing in this that is unsafe for younger eaters, I recommend this for eaters 12+ months due to the high sugar content. No matter how old your eaters (especially if you share some of this with your wee ones as a holiday treat), be sure to serve an age appropriate portion. A little of this sweet treat goes a long way!