Pear, Double Cranberry and Apple Lattice Pie

Serves 8 to 10.

Note: From JeanMarie Brownson.

1 recipe double crust pie dough (see recipe)

2 1/2 lb. ripe, but still a bit firm, Bartlett pears, about 6

1 1/2 lb. Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious apples, about 4

2 c. fresh cranberries (about 8 oz.)

• 3 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 3/4 c. granulated sugar

• 3 tbsp. cornstarch

• 1 c. (4 oz.) dried cranberries

• 1/2 tsp. grated fresh orange zest

• 1/8 tsp. salt

Cream or milk, coarse sugar (or turbinado sugar)

Directions

Make pie dough and refrigerate it as directed. Working between 2 sheets of floured waxed paper, roll out 1 disk into a 12-inch circle. Remove the top sheet of wax paper and use the bottom sheet to flip the crust into a 10-inch pie pan. Gently smooth the crust into the pan, without stretching it. Roll the edge of the dough under so it sits neatly on the edge of the pie dish. Refrigerate.

Roll the second disk of pie dough between the sheets of floured wax paper into an 11-inch circle. Slide onto a baking sheet and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Peel and core the pears. Slice into 1/4-inch wide wedges; put into a bowl. You should have 6 generous cups. Peel and core the apples. Cut into 3/4-inch chunks; you should have about 3 1/2 cups. Add to the pears. Stir in fresh cranberries.

Heat butter in large deep skillet over medium-high until melted; add pears, apples and fresh cranberries. Cook, stirring, until nicely coated with butter, about 2 minutes. Cover and cook to soften the fruit, 3 minutes. Add sugar and cornstarch; cook and stir until glazed and tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in dried cranberries, orange zest and salt. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet; cool to room temperature. While the fruit mixture cools, heat oven to 425 degrees.

Pile the cooled fruit into the prepared bottom crust. Use a very sharp knife to cut the rolled top crust into 18 strips, each about 1/2 inch wide. Place 9 of those strips over the fruit filling positioning them about 1/2 inch apart. Arrange the other 9 strips over the strips on the pie in a diagonal pattern. (If you want to make a woven lattice, put one strip of dough over the 9 strips on the pie and weave them by lifting up and folding to weave them together.)

Crimp the edge of the bottom crust and the lattice strips together with your fingers. Use a fork to make a decorative edge all the way around the pie. Use a pastry brush to brush each of the strips and the edge of the pie with cream. Sprinkle strips and the edge with the coarse sugar.

Place pie on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Use strips of foil to lightly cover the outer edge of the pie. Continue baking until the filling is bubbling hot and the crust richly golden, about 40 minutes more.

Cool completely on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature topped with whipped cream or ice cream. To rewarm the pie, simply set it in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Nutrition information per each of 10 servings:

Calories 540 Fat 24 g Sodium 270 mg

Carbohydrates 80 g Saturated fat 11 g Added sugars 43 g

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 34 mg Dietary fiber 7 g

Double Crust Pie Dough

Makes enough for a double crust 10-inch pie.

Note: This is our family's favorite pie crust for ease of use with a flaky outcome. We use vegetable shortening for easy dough handling and maximum flakiness; unsalted butter adds rich flavor. From JeanMarie Brownson.

• 2 1/2 c. flour

• 1 tbsp. sugar

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1/2 c. unsalted butter, very cold

1/2 c. trans-fat free vegetable shortening, frozen

Directions

Put flour, sugar and salt into a food processor. Pulse to mix well. Cut butter and shortening into small pieces; sprinkle them over the flour mixture. Pulse to blend the fats into the flour. The mixture will look like coarse crumbs.

Put ice cubes into about 1/2 cup water and let the water chill. Remove the ice cubes and drizzle about 6 tablespoons of the ice water over the flour mixture. Briefly pulse the machine just until the mixture gathers into a dough.

Dump the mixture out onto a sheet of wax paper. Gather into 2 balls, one slightly larger than the other. (Use this one later for the bottom crust.) Flatten the balls into thick disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Dough will keep in the refrigerator for several days.)

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 291 Fat 20 g Sodium 235 mg

Carbohydrates 25 g Saturated fat 8 g Added sugars 1 g½½

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 24 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Exchange: 2 fruit; 1 ½ starch; 2 carb; 4 ½ fat.

Ginger Praline Pumpkin Pie

Serves 8.

Note: Prebaking the crust helps ensure the proper texture in the finished pie. You can replace the ginger snap cookies here with just about any spice cookie; I also like to use speculoos cookies or homemade molasses cookies. The recipe calls for canned pumpkin pie mix, which has sugar and spice already. From JeanMarie Brownson.

• Half recipe double crust pie dough (see recipe)

Filling:

• 2 eggs

1 (30 oz.) or 2 (15-oz.) cans pumpkin pie mix (with sugar and spices)

• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

• 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

• 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

• 2/3 c. heavy whipping cream

• 2 tbsp. dark rum or 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Topping:

• 3 tbsp. butter, at room temperature

• 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar

1/4 c. finely chopped crystallized ginger (about 1 1/2 oz.)

1 c. roughly chopped or broken ginger snap cookies (about 2 oz. or 12 cookies)

• Whipped cream for garnish

Directions

For the crust: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Roll pie dough between 2 sheets of floured wax paper to an 11-inch circle. Remove the top sheet of paper. Use the bottom sheet to help you flip the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Gently ease the dough into the pan, without stretching it; roll the edge of the dough under so it sits neatly on the edge of the pie dish; flatten attractively with a fork.

Line the bottom of the pie crust with a sheet of foil; fill the foil with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove the weights using the foil to lift them out of the crust. Return pie crust to the oven; bake until light golden in color, about 2 minutes. Cool. (Crust can be prebaked up to 1 day in advance; store in a cool, dry place.)

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

For the filling: Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin mix, cinnamon, ginger and cloves until smooth. Whisk in cream and rum or vanilla extract.

For the topping: Mix butter and brown sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in crystallized ginger; gently stir in the cookies to coat them with the butter mixture.

Carefully pour pie filling into cooled crust. Set the pie pan on a baking sheet; slide into the center of the oven. Bake, 40 minutes. Remove pie from oven. Gently distribute the topping evenly around the outer rim of the pie, near the crust. Return the pie to the oven; bake until a knife inserted near the center is withdrawn clean, about 40 more minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Serve cold or at room temperature with whipped cream.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 481 Fat 27 g Sodium 433 mg

Carbohydrates 58 g Saturated fat 13 g Added sugars 9 g

Protein 6 g Cholesterol 96 mg Dietary fiber 9 g

Exchange: 2 starch; 2 carb.; 6 fat.