Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Streusel-Topped Pear & Plum Pie

 I'm happy to report that my family and I are all okay and safe from Hurricane Sandy- our power is still on and now we're just waiting for news on the subways (no school tomorrow?) and hoping everyone is okay!
On Sunday, when we heard that we would probably be stuck indoors for a few days, I knew some pie was needed. We had just been shopping for hurricane supplies, which included lots of fruit and butter for baking (and an obscene amount of ice cream, but that's completely unrelated), so we had plenty of pie ingredients. I wanted something that could be easily made gluten-free, was delicious, and incorporated somewhat fall-like flavors (other than pumpkin, please!). This pie was the perfect choice.
 It starts with a crisp pie crust - I used a leftover gluten-free galette crust from this galette, but feel free to use your favorite. Then comes a thick layer of chopped pears and plums, mixed with lots of delicious magic! Finally, the best part (in my opinion) gets crumbled on: the streusel topping! I love the "crumb" on crumb cake, and this is basically a layer of just that - I even used gluten-free all-purpose flour for my mom, and it was wonderful. This pie is perfect warm with a big scoop of ice cream, or at room temperature if the idea of taking the time to heat up pie and scoop ice cream is just too daunting (it's okay - I get it).
The three layers go perfectly together to create a delicious dessert that can be made in fall just as easily as in summer - if you can't find any of the fruits or don't like them, feel free to substitute your favorites. This would be delicious with apples for Thanksgiving as well, or with nectarines for the Fourth of July, or with any other fruit for any other day of the year...
Streusel-Topped Pear & Plum Pie
(from Oprah)

1 9" pie crust, chilled
1 1/3 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided (I used gluten-free all-purpose flour and added about a teaspoon of xanthan gum)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
3 ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored and sliced
3 plums, pitted and sliced

Place a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat oven to 400 F. (Be sure to do this - I didn't, and had a smoke-filled kitchen as pie juice burned on the bottom of my oven!) Line a 9" pie pan with crust; set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss together 1 1/3 cups flour, butter, 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar, brown sugar, almonds, and 1/4 tsp. salt until mixture forms clumpy streusel bits; set aside.
In a large bowl, toss together pears, plums, remaining 2/3 cup granulated sugar, remaining 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 tsp. salt until well coated.
Fill pie crust with fruit and scatter streusel evenly over the top.
Place pie on top rack of oven and bake 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375 F. Continue baking until juices are bubbly and thickened, 45 to 60 minutes more. Set aside to let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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