Cheddar cheese gives this crust a unique, out-of-this-world flakiness.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 cup finely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons cold heavy cream
4 to 5 Tbsp. ice-cold water
3 1/4 pounds Bartlett pears, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
How to Make It
Pulse first 2 ingredients and 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar in a food processor 3 or 4 times or until combined. Add cheese and butter; pulse 10 to 12 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle cream and water over mixture; pulse 4 or 5 times or just until moist clumps form. Divide dough in half, and flatten into disks. Wrap disks in plastic wrap, and chill 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir together pears, next 6 ingredients, and remaining 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar in a large bowl.
Preheat oven to 400°. Roll 1 dough disk into a 12 1/2-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fit piecrust into a 10-inch pie plate; fold edges under, and crimp. Spoon pear mixture into crust.
Roll remaining dough disk to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface, and cut into 6 (2 1/2-inch) strips. Arrange strips in a lattice design over filling; press ends of strips into crust, sealing to bottom crust, and crimp. (Reroll scraps if you do not have enough strips to cover pie.) Whisk together egg and 2 Tbsp. water. Brush lattice with egg mixture.
Bake at 400° for 55 minutes to 1 hour, shielding with aluminum foil after 30 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Let cool on a wire rack 1 hour.
Pear-Cherry Pie with Cheddar Crust: Prepare as directed, adding 1 cup dried cherries to pear mixture and increasing cornstarch to 1/4 cup.
Made this for Thanksgiving tomorrow and my husband and I couldn't resist trying a piece. It was absolutely delicious! Amazing combo of sweet and savory. Will definitely make again - next time only possible change is to add slightly more cheddar cheese to the crust. Definitely will recommend this to family/friends!