From FamilyFun magazine contributing editor Ken Haedrich: Here’s a pie that has made my family’s short list of holiday favorites each year for the past 30, ever since I moved to New England and became a fanatical maple syrup cook. Back then, there was a span of a couple of years when you couldn’t sit down to a meal at our house without eating something — from soup to salad dressing — that was made with maple syrup.
- 5 1/2 to 6 cups peeled 1/2-inch diced just-ripe pears (about 8 small pears)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 9- or 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie crust or try this Flaky Piecrust
OATMEAL CRUMB TOPPING
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- Heat the oven to 400°. Place the diced pears in a large bowl, sprinkle the cornstarch over them, and stir well. Add the remaining filling ingredients and toss gently, until the mixture is evenly combined.
- Turn the filling into the chilled deep-dish pie crust and smooth the top of the fruit. Place the pie on the center oven rack, with a piece of aluminum foil under the dish to catch any drips, and bake for 45 minutes.
- Now make the topping. Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter, and using your hands, rub the ingredients together until you have large crumbs. Refrigerate the topping until you are ready to use it.
- After 45 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 375°. Remove the pie from the oven and carefully pour the crumbs in the center of the pie, then spread them evenly. Return the pie to the oven and bake it until the juices bubble thickly around the edge, about 15 minutes. Transfer the pie to a rack to cool for at least 2 hours before serving.
Serves 10 to 12.