Garden & Gun Magazine Feature: Amanda's Cranberry Pear Pie

Hi y'all, Amanda here!

It’s officially Christmas time, and I couldn’t be more excited! To top it off, I was over-the-moon when Garden & Gun got in touch and said they'd like to feature my recipe for Cranberry Pear Pie on their Instagram for the holiday season.

Garden & Gun is such a landmark institution here in the south, and I was thrilled to bring the readers and followers some of my favorite secrets for the ultimate buttery, flaky pie crust. (Hint: making one is so much easier than you think!)

This is a festive family recipe that’s been passed down for generations, and it’s the perfect pie to get everyone in the holiday spirit with tangy cranberries, sweet, mellow pears, and a warm array of homey spices like cinnamon and clove. Also, it will make your kitchen smell AMAZING. 

As for the pie crust? You can always use store bought, but nesting your filling inside a tender, flaky, made-from-scratch crust is what really launches this pie into the stratosphere. And, while it’s easy to feel intimidated by the idea of making pie crust from scratch, it’s actually much simpler than you think!

Over years of baking, and a lot of trial and error, I’ve developed a few foolproof tips, so you can get the perfect pie crust every time. (But, if you're still looking to save time, Southern Baked's Gluten-Free Pie Crust Mix is a great way to achieve the same buttery, flaky crust - no measuring necessary!) 

  1. Keep it cold – the texture and flavor of your homemade pie dough will turn out best if you keep ALL of your ingredients cold (yes, even the flour!). Stick your butter in the freezer after you’ve cut it, and put the rest of the ingredients in the fridge for an hour before you mix.
  2. White Lily flour – any flour will work for this recipe but, in my experience, White Lily is the brand that’ll give your crust the very best texture!
  3. Mix well – make sure you mix the freezing cold butter into your dry ingredients well before adding the water, but be careful not to handle the dough for so long that it gets warm. The butter should be broken down into pea-sized lumps before you add in your water. (This is what gives you those flaky, tender pockets of crust!)
  4. Give it a rest – once you’ve added the water and mixed until the flour is incorporated, cut your dough ball in half (one for your bottom crust, and one for your top), wrap each piece in cling wrap, and let them sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This gives the gluten, and you, a chance to rest.
  5. Roll it out – once your dough is chilled, roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper, using your hip to anchor the corner of the paper against the counter. This is a great way to keep the mess to a minimum.

Yes, it’s as easy as that! As simple as these tips seem, I promise, incorporating them will make all the difference in your pie crust, and with just four ingredients and a few extra minutes in the kitchen, you’ll have a homemade pie crust that’s guaranteed to bring everyone together around the table this holiday season.

Check out the Instagram video below for the full recipe and leave a comment with your thoughts!

Pairs Well With: This delicious dessert is the perfect way to top off a meal of one of our delicious savory pies, like Pot Roast Pie or Chicken Pot Pie!

For more recipes, check out my cookbook, Southern Baked: Celebrating Life with Pie, the rest of my blog, and my other features on Garden & Gun on Southern Baked Apple Pie and Tomato Corn Pie!