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Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Ugliest Turnovers You'll Ever See

Ever since Chuck made pear gruyere pies laced with anti-depressants for her aunts, I've been on a quest to make my own pie (without the drugs, of course). Although the creators of the show did publish a bunch of the Pie Hole's recipes, they never did this one, forcing me to experiment.

A couple of years ago I made my first attempt, which was only ok. I used Bosc pears, I think -- the kind that turn brown when ripe but do not soften -- and they remained a little too firm when cooked. Next time I use this kind of pear I will try this recipe, which calls for poaching them first (and sounds delicious).

This year I got a different type of pear, so the texture was no problem. For the filling I used flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and grated gruyere, and for the crust I used the Silver Palate's Apple of my Eye pie crust, swapping gruyere for the cheddar of the original and omitting the sugar (I prefer savory pie crusts).

It was the pie crust that caused so much trouble this year. I had a hell of a time rolling out the dough, I think because the cheese made it very tough. I probably should have chilled the dough less, and added a bit more water. I also had the brilliant idea of making turnovers that I could freeze, since I am the only one who eats fruit pies, but that made the dough situation worse; while I probably could have patched together a decent circle to fit in a pie plate, trying to create any clean shape for turnovers didn't work at all.

Hence the ugliest turnovers ever:
They tasted good, however.

With the rest of the dough I gave up on turnovers, and tried my hand at ugly mini-pies:
They froze beautifully, but would not come out of the muffin pan at all, so I had to bake them all at once. Disposable mini-pie plates are the solution. And again, they tasted good, but I am still on the hunt for the perfect pear gruyere recipe.

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