Nutella Crust (inspired by Rose Levy Beranbaum and Karol of Dave’s Kitchen)
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
¼ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup Nutella
1 cup flour
1 egg yolk
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and salt until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the Nutella and mix on low until blended. Add the flour, mixing just until incorporated, then add the egg yolk, mixing just until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Roll out dough on a piece of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough and roll the dough into a large circle, about 11” round. Peel off the plastic wrap, use the parchment paper to lift the dough and gently flip it into your pie plate. Peel off the parchment paper, trim the edges of the dough even with the pie plate and crimp the edges. Wrap the remaining dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate. There will be just enough to reroll and use as cut outs for the top crust of the pie. Refrigerate the pie shell for at least 1 hour before you blind bake it. When the dough is chilled, line the pie dough with aluminum foil, making sure to cover the edges, and fill with beans or pie weights. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool, (removing the foil and pie weights) while you prepare the filling. Roll out the dough you will use for the top crust on lightly floured parchment paper and use a small cookie cutter to cut into desired shapes. Set on a small baking sheet and refrigerate until you assemble the pie.
3 firm, ripe pears (Anjou or Bartlett), peeled, cored and cut into ¼” cubes (you should have 3 cups of cubed pears)
1 generous cup fresh raspberries
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 375. In a medium bowl, toss the cubed pears with the lemon juice. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch. Add the zest/sugar/cinnamon/cornstarch mixture to the pears and combine using a rubber spatula. Add the raspberries and gently fold them in. Pour the fruit mixture into the pre-baked pie shell. Remove the crust cut-outs from the refrigerator and place them on top of the fruit. Place the pie on a parchment lined baking sheet and return to the refrigerator for 15 minutes. When ready to place the pie in the oven, cover the edges of the pie with strips of aluminum foil.
Bake the pie on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the pie is bubbling in the center. Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.
A note about the crust: This pie crust is modeled after cookie dough, and is fragile. It is important to cover the edges of the pie with strips of aluminum foil before baking to prevent the edges from over browning. Don’t worry if you have a few gaps between the cutouts serving as the top crust. The dough will spread a bit as it bakes.