Pecan Crumble Winter Fruit Pie

It all started with a pie pan.

Several months ago I spotted an adorable yellow pie pan that I knew I needed. Do I make pies? No, never. Did I convince myself that this yellow pie pan would change that? …. absolutely. So, after staring at my new pie pan patiently waiting to be used in the corner, I finally took the plunge into unknown baking territory and man, was the payoff worth it.

Winter doesn’t necessarily scream fruit pie season, but trust me, these ripe fruits blend together into mouth watering yumminess! The apples and pears give the pie a sturdy base and loads of natural sugar while the figs add a melt in your mouth textural component. I would be lying if I said that the cranberries weren’t my favorite nibble of all. The burst of tartness balanced wonderfully with the sweetness of the crumble topping. If you have more than a cup of cranberries on hand… toss them in this cake.

Flaky crust to crunchy crumble, every bite is well balanced (and could only get better if you added vanilla bean ice cream to the mix). Since I never bake pies, I also NEVER bake pie crust. This was an interesting undertaking since baking crust is so much about understanding the texture of the dough as it is being mixed, chilled and rolled out. After a little bit of swearing (sometimes baking turns me into a sailor), I managed to wrestle the rolled dough into the pie pan and voilà… it actually looked good. The rest was… well, a piece of cake! Add the fruit mixture, top with sugary, oatmeal, pecan crumble and bake. The smell is a good indicator of how delicious this pie will actually be.

Share with friends… it feels nice.

Makes 8-10 servings
Baking Time: 60 to 75 minutes

Pie Pastry
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pecan Crumb Topping
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (3 ounces) raw pecans, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Fruit Filling
1 cup (6 ounces) dried figs
2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
3 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 cup (4-6 ounces) cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

To make the pie pastry, put the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl, stir to combine, then put the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Add the butter to the flour mixture and toss to evenly coat. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, a food processor, an electric mixer, or your hands, just until the mixture becomes coarse and crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Stir the water and lemon juice together, then pour over the dry ingredients and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured work surface and press it into a 6-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Roll the chilled dough into a 14-inch disk, then line a 9 or 10 pie pan with the rolled-out dough. Patch any holes and trim off any dough that hangs over the edges of the pan. Chill for an additional 30 minutes while you prepare the crumb topping and the fruit filling.

To make the pecan crumb topping, mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl. Stir in the butter, then work it in with your hands until the texture of crumbs. Put the topping in the refrigerator while you make the fruit filling.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.

To make the fruit filling, remove the stem from each fig, then boil the figs in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes (boil figs in fresh squeezed orange juice for added flavor). Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Slice each fig into 4 to 5 pieces, put them in a large bowl, and add the apples, pears, and cranberries. Separately, rub the sugar and cornstarch together, then add to the fruit and gently toss until evenly coated.

Transfer the filling to the pie shell and top with the pecan crumb. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 60 to 75 minutes, or until the crumb is golden, the fruit juices are bubbling thickly around the edges, and the fruit is tender when pierced with a wooden skewer. If the crumb is getting too dark, cover it with foil.

Storage: Covered with a tea towel, the pie will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Now that our pie has been happily consumed… I would like so more please!


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