Monday, September 15, 2014

Frugality, Friendship, and Florida Pear Pies

Florida Pears are not so pretty!
 One of my simple delights is free foraged food.  Digging my own clams, catching crabs off a dock, gathering wild berries, hunting the elusive Morel Mushroom, discovering an abandon fruit tree and filling my skirt with the promise of a sweet smelling kitchen coming up, these things just delight me!

So when my neighbor came by with a pool skimming net full of Florida Pears, I gave him a silly smiling thank you and made a mental note to make an extra pie for him too!

pretty in a pie!
I have tried to find out a little history on these hard speckled skinned pears and here is what I have come up with after finding Sherry Boas's article from September 25, 2011 in the Orlando Sentinel:

                                               1.  They are an old Fashioned Southern Pear
                                               2.  Varieties such as Orient, Kieffer, and Pineapple pear were                                                                            staples of Florida Homesteads    
                                               3. They are nicknames "sand pears"
                                               4. They are used for baking and canning
                                               5. They thrive in our Florida climate but are mainly forgotten.

My Thank you pie for a very thoughtful friend!

The Recipe: Florida Pear Pie
Two pie crust (top and bottom)
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons each nutmeg, allspice, and ground cloves
1 teaspoon lemon zest
5 cups peeled and sliced Florida Pears
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:  Combine sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and lemon zest and juice in a mixing bowl. mix then toss into the peeled and slice pears covering them.  Layer the pears in the crust and dot with butter, moisten rim of bottom crust and gently place top crust over filling.  fold edges and press to seal.  Use a fork to vent the top of the crust by gently piercing it a few times.  
Bake at 450 degrees F.  for 10 minutes and then reduce to 350 degrees F and bake 30 more minutes.  Check the crust and cover with foil if it is browning too fast.  Enjoy!

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