prepared piecrust (or, if making from scratch, see next 6 ingredients )
(1 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
(4 tablespoons) cold vegetable shortening
peeled, quartered, cored pears, sliced crosswise
fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
- If using prepared piecrust, tuck the bottom crust into a 9-inch pie plate and skip to Step 6.
- For homemade crust: Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter. Pulse 5 more times. Remove the lid and "fluff" with a fork, lifting the dough up from the bottom of the bowl. Scatter in the shortening in small spoonfuls and pulse 5 more times. Fluff again. Drizzle half the water over the dough and pulse another 5 times. Remove the lid, fluff the pastry, and drizzle in the rest of the water. Pulse until the pastry starts to form clumps.
- Dump the dough into a large bowl, then pack the pastry into 2 balls, one slightly larger than the other. Knead each ball once or twice, then flatten into 3/4-inch-thick disks on a floured surface. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the larger half of the pastry into a 12-inch circle. Invert the pastry over a 9-inch pie pan. Tuck the pastry into the pan, letting the edges drape over the sides. Refrigerate.
- Preheat the oven to 400º F. Roll the other half of the pastry into a 10-inch circle.
- For the filling: Mix the pears, cranberries, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the sugar and cornstarch and stir them into the fruit. Pour the filling into the pie shell.
- Invert the top pastry over the filling and press the edges together. Trim the pastry flush with the edge of the pan and crimp with a fork. Poke several steam vents in the top. Lightly brush on the milk and sprinkle the sugar.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375º F. Bake until the juices bubble thickly, 25 to 30 minutes more. Cool 2 hours.