We have a few pear trees along our dog walk routines, and I have picked some pears for baking. You could use probably any firm pears for the filling of this pie. One word of caution…it takes longer than the average pie, but it is certainly worth your time and effort. The red wine reduction syrup is fabulous with the pears, and the cheddar pie crust is the perfect complement.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter or Earth Balance vegan buttery stick, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 tablespoons chilled pure vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup (firmly packed) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
5-7 tablespoons ice water
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1¾ cups dry red wine, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
5 teaspoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 teaspoons all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 pounds firm but ripe pears (such as Comice, Anjou, or Bartlett), peeled, cored, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons raw sugar
Place flour, sugar, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter and shortening. Using on/off turns, blend until mixture resembles fine meal. Add cheese; mix in using 4 on/off turns. Transfer dry ingredients to large bowl. Sprinkle 5 tablespoons water over. Using fork, toss until moist clumps form, adding more water by tablespoonfuls if mixture is dry. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Shape each half into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Bring granulated sugar, rosemary, and 1½ cups wine to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about ⅔ cup, about 20-25 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add butter and whisk until syrup is smooth.
Whisk cornstarch, cinnamon, 5 tsp. flour, and remaining ¼ cup wine in a small saucepan set over medium heat; cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Slowly add syrup, whisking until smooth, then stir in vanilla and salt. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Chill until cool, about 30 minutes.
Place a rack in lower third of oven. Toss pears and red wine syrup in a large bowl. Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 14” round. Transfer to a 9” pie dish. Lift up edges and allow dough to slump down into dish. Trim, leaving about 1” overhang. Pour filling into crust and chill.
Meanwhile, roll out remaining disk of dough into a 10” round. Place on top of pie, fold edges under and crimp. Cut out four oval shapes for vent, place cut outs on top of pie. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons raw sugar and chill in freezer 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F, rotate pie, and continue baking, tenting with foil if crust is browning too quickly, until juices are bubbling and crust is golden brown, 30–35 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 4 hours before slicing.