Being in Southern California, the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is very lucky to have access to a lot of fresh, local produce. They host a ‘Farm to Table’ style event each month called Land to Linen with fresh, local product and this dessert was one of the culinary staff’s favorites. Chef Jaimie Hileman uses a Danish Dough instead of a traditional pie dough because she like the flakiness combined with the chewiness and the heartiness of the fruit. She presents to you the Pear, Fig and Cherry Pie with Browned Butter Almond Cream. (More “Perfecting Pie” Recipes)
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Perfecting Pie - Pear, Fig and Cherry Pie

Pear, Fig and Cherry Pie

The Danish Dough: 8 oz Whole milk 1 pack Dry active yeast (1/4 oz) 1 Egg 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract 3 1/2 cups All-purpose flour 2 Tbsp Granulated sugar 3/4 tsp Salt 8 oz Butter, room temperature 1. Heat the milk to approx. 110 degrees F. Sprinkle yeast over milk and let dissolve for about 5 minutes. 2. Add egg and vanilla to milk mixture. 3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add 1 1/2 Tbsp butter and press together into flour. 4. Slowly add milk mixture and start to knead together. 5. Lightly flour a baking sheet and place dough on top, shaping it into a rectangle, dust with flour, cover and refrigerate 1 hour. 6. Roll dough out to approx. 1/4 inch thick. Spread butter on the middle 1/3 of dough (shorter part of the center, not long ways). 7. Fold one end towards center, covering the butter, then bring other side up over 1st side creating a tri-fold. seal exposed edges together. 8. Roll to approx. half inch thick and tri-fold again. 9. Refrigerate and repeat the rolling and folding process 3 more times. 10. Cut 2 rounds of dough and place one circle in oven safe skillet or baking dish. Fill with almond cream, and top with fruit, leaving 3/4 inch border around the edge. Brush edge with beaten egg and top with 2nd round of dough, pressing edges together to seal. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.
ChefTipThe Danish Dough is very time consuming and quite a process! The almond cream and fruit filling can be placed inside traditional pie dough and baked. Frozen doughs are also a great option to create a fresh baked product when you’re short on time.
The Almond Cream: 1/2 cup Almond paste 1 Tbsp Granulated sugar 2 Tbsp Butter, browned and cooled 1 Egg 1 Tbsp All-purpose flour 1. Place butter in small sauce pan over medium heat. Once butter starts to bubble and milk solids separate to the top, stir constantly until solids sink to the bottom and brown slightly. Remove from saucepan and allow to cool in bowl. 2. With electric mixer with paddle, mix almond paste, sugar and cooled brown butter. 3. Add egg and mix until combined. 4. Slowly add in flour and mix until just combined. 5. Fill bottom crust with almond cream. The Fruit Filling: 4 medium Pears 6 Fresh Figs 1 cup Fresh cherries, pitted (dried can be substituted if fresh or frozen are unavailable). 2 Tbsp Butter 3/4 cup Granulated sugar 1/4 cup Brown sugar 1 tsp Ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp Ground ginger 1/2 tsp Salt 1 Tbsp Lemon juice 1. Dice pears and figs, but keep separate. 2. In a large saucepan, melt butter with sugars, spices and lemon juice. 3. Toss pears over medium heat and cook slightly just a few minutes. 4. Add figs, and toss mainly to coat with sugars and spices, remove from heat. 5. Add cherries. 6. Fill crust before placing top dough round on top. Then bake.
JaimieJaimie Hileman is the pastry chef of La Costa Resort and Spa and is responsible for all of the pastry and baking needs of five different restaurants on property, including BlueFire Grill, Bistro 65 and the Spa Café. Hileman has been an integral part of the La Costa dining experience since January 2005. As a pastry cook and bakery supervisor, Hileman whipped up cakes and custards, as well as new recipes for BlueFire Grill. While at La Costa, Hileman also honed her skills working with fresh, organic ingredients as a baker and decorator at Michele Coulon’s Dessertier in La Jolla, CA from September 2005 – September 2006. In 2007, she served as pastry cook for Grand Del Mar, assisting in the creation of the dessert menus for the opening of the Del Mar, CA resort. As the pastry chef of La Costa, Jaimie Hileman strives to invent works of art that taste just as good as they look. Her artistic and individual enthusiasm can be seen and tasted in each of her desserts. Hileman graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Graphic Design. She has also received several baking and pastry certificates from the Epicurean School of Culinary Arts, the National Culinary School and the National Pastry Forum.