I’ll just come out and say it: you need to see Pushing Daisies. Funny, romantic, slightly morbid, yet wistful, the show never takes itself too seriously (even if it tried to, Emerson Cod wouldn’t allow it). The colors are lovely, the sets eye-catching, the dialogue flawless and breathlessly clever, but most importantly of all, there is pie.
Lots and lots of pie.
In fact, there is so much pie that I rarely finish an episode without wanting a slice, specifically, of Chuck’s drug-smuggling Pear Gruyere pie. But since I can’t hang around the Pie Hole, eavesdropping on Emerson’s PI tips and savoring a slice of Three Plum a la mode, I opted to create a Pear Gruyere of my own (minus the homeopathic antidepressants).
The catch is that I am a baker of cakes, cookies and breads, but not pies. I have yet to produce a crust that I am pleased with, because my crusts have one unfortunate quality: they always crack. I have tried a handful of recipes, but I always end up piecing them together with wet finger tips and apologizing for them at the table. (Of course, I am the common denominator here, so I’m inclined to believe that I’m doing something wrong. Any ideas?)
Alas, this pie was no exception. When my crust disintegrated under the rolling pin, I grabbed my purse and my eldest daughter and informed Mitch that we were headed for Trader Joe’s. Could I have saved the crust? Perhaps. Did I want to? Not particularly.
So if you have a favorite pie crust recipe, by all means, use it. I used frozen crust, and the pie was delicious. Simple, slightly unusual, and delicious. As a testament to its goodness, notice that I have no existing photo of the pie post-oven, pre-consumption. This will have to do:
Chuck’s Pear Gruyere Pie
Note: I have found some recipes that bake the Gruyere directly into the crust, which sounds lovely, but given my ineptitude with crust, I opted to go all Hollywood and grate it all over the top of the pie (like Chuck does!). If you want a more elaborate version, try Blondie and Brownie‘s recipe. (It looks pretty amazing.)
Your favorite pie crust: enough to make the top and bottom of one 9″ pie
5 3/4 c. pear, peeled and chopped
6 Tbl. sugar
4 tsp. cornstarch
1/4-1/2 c. grated Gruyere cheese
Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
Combine pear, sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Add 1/4 c. or so of the Gruyere and stir with a wooden spoon.
To assemble the pie, place the bottom crust in a greased pie plate, fill with pear mixture, and top with remaining crust. Seal the edges of the pie, then sprinkle with remaining Gruyere over the top (to taste). Cut slits in crust and bake for 1 hour (mine actually took a little longer to get nice and brown, but then, I can’t put an egg wash on mine – you might try using a wash and let me know how it goes).
Unless you like your pie in a puddle, allow to cool completely before eating.
PS – For more pies from the Pie Hole, check out this page.