Bring this delicious pie to all of your pumpkin-carving parties this October!
Reduced-Butter Pie Pastry
6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples, (2 1/4 pounds), such as Northern Spy, Rhode Island Greening and/or Gravenstein
1 large firm pear, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pecan crumb topping
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour, or all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
Prepare pie pastry; refrigerate as directed. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12 1/2-inch circle. Drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to the prepared pan. Press to fit. Trim the pastry, fold the edges under and flute. Cover the pie shell and place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
Combine apples, pear, 1/3 cup sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large bowl; toss to coat. Set aside for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.
Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, ginger and nutmeg in a small bowl. Add to the fruit and toss well to combine. Scrape the filling into the cold pie shell, smoothing the top so the slices don't stick up and scorch in the oven.
Bake the pie on the center rack for 30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 10 minutes more.
Meanwhile, prepare pecan crumb topping: Place flour, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon in a food processor; pulse 5 or 6 times to chop the nuts. Scatter butter over the dry ingredients. Pulse again repeatedly until the butter is broken into fine bits. Turn the machine on again and add the milk in a stream. Stop as soon as it has been added. Empty the mixture into a bowl and gently rub it between your fingers until it looks and feels a little like damp sand.
After the pie has baked for 40 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Place the pie on a baking sheet. Spread the crumb topping evenly over the apples, patting down gently. Bake the pie until the fruit is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife and you can see the juices bubbling at the edge, 20 to 30 minutes more. Keep a close eye on the topping: once it starts to brown, lay a large sheet of foil over the pie to prevent any further darkening.
Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 hour before serving.