Pear Gruyère Cup Pies, à la Charlotte Charles

Recipe adapted from Cave Cibum

Makes 6 mini pies in a standard cupcake tray
Prep time: 1 hour 30 minutes, including chill time for pie crust dough
Bake time: 30 minutes

For the dough:
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
14 tbsp (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes
3 oz (just over 1/3 cup) Gruyère cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup (or more) very cold water

1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp milk
additional sugar for dusting

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, and butter. Using your fingertips, blend butter into flour until pea-sized clumps form. Add cheese and mix in. Add water and knead dough until just combined, adding extra water if too dry. Divide dough into halves. Pat each half into a slightly flattened disk, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for one hour, or up to two days.

For the filling:
2 large bosc pears, rinsed, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey
juice from 1/2 a fresh lemon (about 3/4 to 1 tbsp)

In medium bowl combine chopped pears, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, flour, and vanilla extract. Mix gently by hand to ensure that pears are evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate until dough has chilled for one hour.

To assemble:
Grease 6 alternating cups of a standard 12-cup cupcake pan so that there is space between pies for any spillover. Preheat oven to 425 F.

Take one of the halves of dough from the refrigerator and roll out onto a lightly floured work surface to about 1/4” thickness. Using a large cup or cutter, cut 6 circles slightly larger than the width of the cupcake wells. Press gently into bottom of greased cupcake well and along sides, leaving about 1/2” of dough along the outside edge.

Repeat with remaining greased cups to create 6 pie shells. Spoon pear mixture generously into each shell. Roll out the second half of the dough and cut another 6 circles slightly larger than the size of the cupcake wells. Top each pie with a circle and press edges together to seal.

Beat egg and 2 tbsp milk together, then lightly bush the top of each pie with egg mixture. Sprinkle with additional sugar. Cut a few holes in each pie to release steam during baking. Bake at 450 F for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 15 minutes until dough is golden and filling begins to just bubble out. Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving.