Pear Bourbon Crumble Pie

Tis the season… for dessert. And not just any dessert, but the best of the best. I made this pear bourbon crumble pie from one of my favorite NYC bakeries (Four and Twenty Blackbirds) for the first time this winter and was absolutely blown away. The depth of flavor is incredible, and the tiniest hints of cardamom, bitters, and bourbon really make it. I served it with classic vanilla ice cream, but a barely sweetened whipped cream would be delectable as well. Read on for the recipe (you can find the original here too).


1 Four & Twenty Blackbirds Frozen All-Butter Crust
1 recipe Crumble Topping prepared (see recipe below)
6 to 7 medium pears (enough for about 5 cups sliced)1 lemon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
⅔ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons Bourbon
2 dashes Old Fashion bitters
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Makes 2 cups, (enough for one Four & Twenty Blackbirds Frozen All-Butter Pie Crust)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup rolled oats
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, at room temperature

Have ready and refrigerated one crimped 1 Four & Twenty Blackbirds Frozen All-Butter Crust and one recipe oat crumble to top.

For the crumble:

Stir together all the ingredients except the butter in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the butter pieces and toss to coat. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is chunky but not homogenous.

If using for a crumble top, chill for at least 15 minutes before using.

For the pie:

Juice the lemon into a large bowl, removing any seeds. Prepare the pears using an apple-peeling machine, or core, peel, and thinly slice them with a sharp knife or on a mandoline. Dredge the pear slices in the lemon juice. Sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Set aside to soften slightly and release some of the juices, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack  and preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, ginger, allspice, white pepper, and salt. Drain any excess juices from the pears. Toss the pears with the sugar mixture. Sprinkle with the bourbon, bitters, and vanilla. Tightly layer the pears in the prepared pie shell so that there are minimal gaps, mounding them slightly higher in the center. Top with the oat crumble.

Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F, move the pie to the center oven rack, and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes longer. Test the pears with a skewer or sharp knife; they should be tender.

Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

The pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days.

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