lets start with the herbs and the spices. on this plate is a collection of herbs and spices that when blended makes up a moroccan blend called raz al hanout. the spices pictured are; cinnamon sticks, green and black cardamom, mace, star anise, nutmeg, peppercorns, turmeric, cloves, hot chilis, coriander and cumin. the herbs in the picture are lavender and rose petals and not in the picture are ginger and anise seeds.
all of the spices were placed in a blender and whirled until it was powdered and then sifted to remove any large pieces. this was very noisy! the results were incredible. i enjoyed my visit to the local indian and international markets to pick up the ingredients rather than using someone elses blend of spices. raz al hanout is morocco's version of curry, everyone has their own blend and it can contain as many as 50 spices. i chose to keep it a little simpler and ended up with 17.
while in K&S world market, i found a bag of black sugar. it is from south korea and it is raw sugar with caramel. it has a larger grain than brown sugar and it tasted a little like caramel and not like molasses.
i peeled a bunch of ripe d'anjou pears, zested a lemon and tossed it all with the black sugar, raz al hanout and some corn starch to fill the shell. now for the yin to the yang of the filling, a pie crust that was made with a combination of butter and apple wood smoked bacon fat which added a hint of smoke flavor to the crust as well as some flakiness.
i love warm fruit pie, so does my husband. we cut into it just as soon as possible and we savored every bite! for more info on the raz al hanout, check out my other blog-will travel for food. it is a blog devoted to restaurants, food and markets of all kinds. here's to pie in the sky and next month's challenge!!!