In the Garden of Eden: Strawberry-Pear Faux-Pie

>> Monday, April 19, 2010

It's been a while since we've posted a Richard Simmons-inspired recipe. Those of you new to us may not know about our love affair with his yummy book: Sweetie Pie: The Richard Simmons Collection of Dazzling Desserts. But, so far we're made some tasty recipes, including a vegan coconut-carob pie, a purple sticky rice tart, a pomegranate-dream bundt cake, and even fortune cookies (though, they didn't turn out so well).

Today's recipe comes from Richard's section titled "In the Garden of Eden" -- all fruits. And typically, I don't enjoy fruit desserts. Well, that's not entirely true. But if you ask me to choose between a packaged chocolate doughnut and a cherry pie, I'll likely choose the doughnut(ugh, really? -- yes, really). Here's what Richard has to say about his cherry-pear cobbler (which I turned into a strawberry-pear faux-pie):

We all know the story about George Washington cutting down the cherry tree. But why did he do it? What was he so angry about? Did he still harbor ill feelings toward the British? And did you know that he actually butchered an entire orchard, including pear trees? Martha heard all the racket, hiked up her skirts, and ran outside. There was George, surrounded by all this fruit on the ground. Being a good housewife who hated waste, Martha gathered up all the fruit, raced inside, and made cobblers for the whole family and the entire staff. And here's the recipe I've adapted from Martha's cookbook.

Strawberry-Pear Faux-Pie

What you'll need . . .

For the crust:
  • 1/2 plus 2 to 3 tablespoons wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter substitute (I used Earth Balance), chilled
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk

For the filling:
  • 14 ounces frozen strawberries
  • 2 medium-sized pears, peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup sugar (again, Sugar in the Raw)
  • 4 teaspoons corn or potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Method . . .
  1. Make the crust by mixing together the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Then cut in the chilled butter substitute -- or use your fingertips -- until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in the coconut milk until everything is just combined. Add a bit more flour if you need to. The mixture should not be sticky. Then shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate while you prepare the fruit mixture.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss together the strawberries, pear slices, sugar, corn or potato starch, and lemon juice. Let sit for ten minutes. Pour into a pie plate.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Take your dough out of the refrigerator and place between two sheets of wax paper. Use a rolling pin to roll it into a circle that is the size of your pie plate (you'll be placing it on top of the mixture, like in the photo above).
  5. Place the round atop your fruit mixture and press in the edges to your pie plate. Then with a sharp knife, gently cut faux-strips to let the steam escape. (Again, see the photo above.)
  6. Bake anywhere between 25 and 30 minutes -- until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Serve warm.

And if you haven't already -- go check out this month's Blog Love Fest. It's a special edition because we're not only sharing the links in a list this month. We're creating a categorized blogLOVEroll. For all the gooey details, just visit the BLF post.

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