Pine Grove Grange Pear Pie

It's been a while since I've talked pie around here. It's just been cookies, cookies, cakes, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, cakes. Sorry about that. Let's get to some pie!

I had a special request from a former valley resident for a pear custard pie. We are in pear country - surrounded by orchards- and people here love their pear pie. I could tell by my friend's description which pie she was jonesing for- Pine Grove Grange Pear Pie. It was a perrenial winner at the county fair when my fair judge mother scored me the recipe. It's a simple pie made with fresh pears and an egg custard filling. It's one of those old family recipes I think.

Now it is not at all pear season right now. Just the opposite. The pears are gone. But when I was in Whole Foods recently I found some Taylor Golds from New Zealand (where it is pear season right now!) and I couldn't resist. Taylor Golds are the absolute best pears in the universe in my humble opinion. We got several boxes of them last year from some orchard owning friends who were getting rid of them because the stores wouldn't take them. The only reason the stores don't take Taylor Golds is because they aren't named "Bartlett". It is a crying shame and a shameful crime because Taylor Golds are juicy, sweet, not too soft and they store a good long while quite unlike the "Bartlett" that people want because they don't know any better. Our household would eat those pears three meals a day they are so good.

Man, I really want a fresh pear right now.

But back to the pie.

The first thing for this pie is to line a nine inch pie dish with a buttery pastry dough and crimp the edges. For a recipe and tutorial on pie crust check out Pie Crust 101.

Next, peel three fresh ripe pears, core and quarter them. Lay the pear quarters in the pie dish like so. Hopefully you have a couple pieces of fresh pear leftover to eat!

Next mix this simple filling with a fork in a small mixing bowl:
1/4 cup of melted butter, 1 cup sugar, 3 whole eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of salt.

Pour over the pears in the pie shell.
Sprinkle the top of the pie lightly with ground mace or nutmeg.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes until the custard is set.

Cool completely and serve at room temperature or chill and serve cold.

Now go find some fresh pears from the southern hemisphere so you don't have to wait until October to try this pie! (I know- eat local, eat seasonal. But....I can't help myself!)