Vanilla-Scented Quince and Pear Pie
by jennifer lynne latham
A few months ago I happened to come home from Bi-Rite Market with a few beautiful pears and quince. I didn’t know exactly what to do with them, but I had pie on the brain (as usual), and ended up putting together this one. My sister-in-law had sent me a link to a Saveur magazine pie recipe contest with a covetable Sur La Table gift certificate as a prize. There are endless combinations of things that I could spend $500 on at Sur La Table, (not hard) but I immediately thought of a large food processor. I have coveted one for years and am always having to work my way around recipes that call for their use (ahem. all of Alice Medrich’s cookies!) And maybe one of those beautiful Emile Henry pie dishes that I am always picking up and putting down…
I wrote down the recipe and took a few snaps of my pie. I had never written a recipe from scratch from beginning to end like that, and it took a few hours but mostly because I was having so much fun tinkering. I think the scientific method training I got from my ornithologist parents trickled in. I submitted it among a host of beautiful, well-loved pies (I was fairly sure the clementine cloud one would take the cake) and hoped for the best.
A few months went by and I honestly hadn’t thought about it much, what with Christmas and a new job. My husband kept hinting about the Christmas present he got for me- something that really put a twinkle in his eye and brought out his dimples. Christmas morning came and lo and behold, it was a 7-quart food processor!! With all the blades and accoutrements I had ever dreamed of.
And then I got an e-mail from Saveur a week later saying that I had won the pie recipe contest! They had tested the recipe in the test kitchen and apparently it was a hit! It was almost as exciting to me that they had been able to faithfully re-create my pie as it was that they had liked the pie itself. I called my mom and jumped up and down for awhile. I might have squealed a little bit. Okay- I squealed.
So now I have my food processor and a whopping gift certificate to the kitchen store. I have a million ideas, but let’s start with the pie dish. Blue, white, or red? Wait… or all three?!
See the recipe here: Announcing the Winner…