Recipe: Perfectly Peared at Peterson's

Peterson’s pastry chef juxtaposes bright and smoky flavors in a refined Thanksgiving pie.
As the head dessert-maker at Peterson’s, Hattie McDaniel twirls her magic wand (or spoon, rather), and familiar sweets, like triple-tiered chocolate cake with white-chocolate mousse, become the high point of the meal. Charged with shaking up a classic holiday-pie recipe, McDaniel delivered this pear variety infused with smoky bourbon flavor.

Spiced Pear Pie

» 1 package premade pie crust
» 6 large Bosc pears
» 1 cup dark brown sugar
» 1 tablespoon ground ginger
» 2 teaspoons cinnamon
» 1/4 cup cornstarch
» 1 cup toasted walnuts (optional)
» 2 tablespoons Scotch or bourbon whiskey
» 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
» 1/4 cup salted butter, diced
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (If using walnuts, toast them on a sheet pan in the oven at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes beforehand.)
2. Core and thinly slice the pears.
3. Combine pear slices with walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, whiskey, cornstarch, walnuts, and vanilla in one bowl and toss to coat pears evenly.
4. Line a 9-inch pie tin with crust, according
to package directions. If using homemade crust, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface and transfer to a 9-inch pie tin. Trim and flute edges.
5. Toss pears again to redistribute juices.
Pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust.
6. Dot pie filling with diced butter.
7. Top with second crust and cut four slits in the pastry, or cut the remaining dough into strips to create a lattice pattern.
8. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until crust is golden and filling is bubbling slightly.
9. Remove pie from the oven and serve with vanilla-bean ice cream.