Thanksgiving Test: Deep-Dish Winter Fruit Pie

For thanksgiving, I wanted to make a classic dessert (pumpkin pie, of course) and something more unique. My wife said “apple and pear tart” and I started searching for recipes.

I found a bunch of possible options on Epicurious, including this one – called a winter fruit pie. This recipe’s definition of winter fruit is a combination of apples, pears, cranberries and dried figs. It’s covered in a walnut streusel topping. It sounded good, and the reviews were almost completely positive.

So, how did the pie turn out? And does it make my final Thanksgiving menu?

This is a big pie; it completely filled my 9-inch-diameter by 3-inch-tall springform pie tin.

I was worried that the high sides of the tart would collapse under the weight of the pie once I took off the rim, but that wasn’t the case. The pie is beautiful, tall, and not that difficult to make. Labor-intensive, sure, but not technically difficult.

I loved the idea of putting cranberries in this pie, and my enthusiasm was merited. The tartness of the cranberries balanced out the pure sweetness of the dried figs and the streusel topping. The dried figs were my problem. Even though I boiled them in water for five minutes to partially reconstitute them, and chopped them fairly small, the dried fruit was still a distraction in a fresh fruit pie.

Initially, I also couldn’t tell that much of a difference between the apples and pears. It wasn’t until I tried the pie the next day, when it had completely cooled, that I could distinguish the different flavors.

My real problem with this recipe was the crust, or rather the huge amount of butter melting through the springform pan and making a massive smoking mess in my oven and kitchen. The crust ended up tough and hard to cut, and not delicate and flakey at all.

There are lots of things to like about this pie, but I think I can do better. One thing I do know – it will definitely be a combination of apples and cranberries.

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