The recipe below is from Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook, a book that was published in 1965 and that is part of a series of cookbooks published by Farm Journal Magazine begininning in 1957. The recipes in this book, as in all the books, were collected "by Farm Journal editors from prize-winning farm cooks."
These books are among my favorite cookbooks. They're charming and evocative and provide a glimpse of farm life fifty years ago. Unlike many cookbooks of the 50s and 60s, the recipes rarely use convenience foods, and when canned fruits or vegetables are mentioned it usually refers to ones that have been home-canned.
The Complete Pie Cookbook has a remarkable variety of pies and recipes that you won't find in modern books such as lemon whey pie (made using the whey left over from making cottage cheese) or unusual combinations like buttermilk date pie. Each recipe is preceded by a brisk and cheerful one or two sentence head note. The headnotes for this pie say, "Elegant! Lemon-and-ginger-flavored fresh pear slices enveloped in pastry."
Pie making and pie eating are not part of my daily life so my books are mostly for reading, however the Farm Journal Magazine had a serious test kitchen so unlike the recipes found in many older books (and some modern books) these are reliable recipes which have been thoroughly tested.
The tart I made tonight, based on this recipe, won't be tasted until tomorrow but if the custard batter I scraped from the bowl using pieces of pear are any indication, it should be delicious.
I varied the recipe by making a tart in a 10" tart pan. First partially baking the tart shell (I used this recipe) then slicing three bosc pears and lining the tart shell with them, and pouring over a custard batter made with two eggs, 1/4 cup of heavy cream, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of finely grated ginger, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and the grated rind of one lemon. I baked this for 35 minutes at about 300 to 325 degrees. If I had an oven that worked correctly, I would have baked it at 350 degrees but to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you bake your tarts with the oven you have, not the oven you want. I'll report back tomorrow on how the tart tasted.
But in the meantime, should you decide to make this pie, or any other pie, I quote from the book: "Good luck and good pies."
Lemon Ginger Pear Pie
1 9" unbaked pie crust
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 tbsp flour, divided
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
3 ripe winter pears
2 tbsp soft butter
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp grated lemon peel
3 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup milk
1. Combine 1/4 sugar, 1 tbsp flour, ginger, and salt and sprinkle on bottom of pie crust.
2. Peel and core pears, slice thinly and lay slices over sugar flour mixture.
3. Beat butter with remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tbsp flour. Add egg yolks, lemon peel, and lemon juice. Beat thoroughly. Add milk and mix.
4. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into lemon mixture, then pour over pears. Bake in 425 oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 30 minutes.