My husbands own personal pie day was March 12th. He celebrated 23 years in the pizza business, and we honored the occasion with a pie of our own.
PEAR VANILLA CROSTATA WITH ALMONDS
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 1/2 pounds pears, halved, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
store bought piecrust
cream for brushing
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Heat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, combine 1/3 cup sugar, the cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the mixture and rub with fingertips to evenly distribute. Add the pears, toss to coat. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the crust to a 14-inch round. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Arrange the pear slices in concentric circles, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the border over the fruit. Brush the border with cream, sprinkle with almonds and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
Bake the crostata until the crust is a deep golden brown color and the fruit filling is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes.
Transfer the crostata, on the parchment paper, to a rack. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine, November 2014