Crust: ½ cup regular whole-wheat flour ¾ cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons granulated sugar ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon baking powder ⅛ teaspoon baking soda 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and frozen 3 tablespoons cold buttermilk 3 tablespoons ice water
Filling: 3 ripe, medium pears 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch ¼ cup light brown sugar ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
To prepare the crust, in a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter to add the butter to the flour mixture until it forms a pebbly, coarse texture. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and ice water. Kneading with your hands, add the buttermilk mixture, a teaspoon at a time, into the flour mixture. Pat the dough into a 4-inch round and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel the pears, core them, and cut into ¼-inch slices. In a large bowl, toss the pear slices with the lemon juice. Sprinkle in the lemon zest, cornstarch, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Toss until the pears are evenly coated. Set aside.
For the glaze, whisk the egg white, honey, and confectioners’ sugar until frothy. Slowly whisk in the melted butter. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a 9-inch circle. Drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Arrange pear slices in concentric circles on top of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the border over the filling, crimping dough to enclose ends of pears.
Brush glaze over pears and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°, then bake for another 30 minutes, or until the pears are tender and the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature, and add whipped cream if desired.
To commemorate our 90th anniversary, we’ve compiled a time line that highlights the stories, contributors, and themes that have shaped this magazine — and your view of the Old North State — using nine decades of our own words.