1 Double Pet-Ritz Deep Dish Pie Shell (9 inch size)
7 cups fresh cooking pears, thinly sliced
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. all spice
2 tsp. apple pie spice
½ stick softened butter (in pats)
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Eggwash (1 egg blended with 2 tablespoons water)
First, start off by defrosting the double pie shells—you’re going to need to leave one in the pan, but you’re going to need to remove the other one and roll it out flat with a baker’s pin. Then go ahead and peel, core, and thinly slice your pears (the thinner the slices the more tender the pie filling). Incidentally, to keep the pear slices from turning brown until you put them in the pie shell, soak them in a water/sugar/lemon solution.
Now the next thing you want to do is preheat your oven to 425 degrees. But in the meantime, prep the filling. Here’s how you do it:
In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, apple pie spice, and salt. Then drop in the wet sliced pears, thoroughly toss them with the coating mix, and transfer them to the pastry shell (you can also sprinkle on whatever coating mix remains in the bowl). Finish filling the pie by dotting it with the butter and evenly drizzling on all of the lemon juice.
Now you can cover the pie one of two ways:
1—Top it with a full crust, seal the edges by burnishing them with a fork, and cut several slits in the top to flute the shell and create a number of vents to allow the steam to escape as the pie bakes. Or. . .
2—Cut the top crust of the pie shell into half-inch strips and begin placing them in lattice-fashion over the filling. Just be sure you weave them in and out of each other to lock the strips in place. Once again, when you’re done use a fork to burnish the dough at the pan edge. Oh—a hint: whichever top crust you decide on, cover the outer edge of the crust with a strip of aluminum foil to keep it from burning as it bakes.
All that’s left now is to brush the top crust liberally with eggwash and bake the pie on the center rack of the oven until the pears are cooked or until the crust turns a beautifully golden brown. By the way, it should take about 40 to 50 minutes to bake (and you can remove the foil strip for the last 15 minutes so that the crust browns evenly).
It might be a good idea to bake the pie on top of a larger sheet pan or cookie sheet instead of directly on the oven rack. Sugary pies tend to spill over as they bake and will make a horrible mess in your oven.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with serving this pie a la mode with French Vanilla Ice Cream, or at least a giant dollop of whipped cream or Cool Whip.