Caramel Pear Pie
Welcome to day 5 in my annual Pie Week. Let’s review:
- Pecan pie with dark chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt
- Pie tools giveaway 🙂
- Pie crust designs (it’s the November Baking Challenge!)
- Cranberries and almond and apples, oh my
And drumroll please… today’s all about pears. And caramel, cinnamon, butter, pie crust, and cute utensils. Soooo unpredictable of me.
Let’s face it: we all forget about pears. Does anyone go pear picking? Can I come? And does anyone have a recipe for pear sauce? Send it to me! Pears sort of fade to the back while apples steal all the spotlight this time of year. (Not that I’m complaining.)
Well guess what, APPLES. Anything you can do, pears can do… better. Hard to believe, but this caramel pear pie shows apple pie who’s boss.
What’s So Great About Pear Pie!?
Pears have this incredible buttery/silky texture that contrasts beautifully with a crisp and flaky pie crust. After the pear pie bakes and cools down, the pears settle into a tender-crisp texture. They’re soft, yes, but not mush. Rather, they have a little bite– especially if you slice them on the thick side.
Plus anything’s delicious covered in cinnamon, sugar, and caramel.
The BEST Pears for Pie
I like to use Anjou (red or green), Bartletts (red or green), or Bosc pears in pie. To avoid a mushy filling, look for pears that are slightly firm. Your best bet is to purchase about 6-7 pears, then let them sit in a paper bag for 1-2 days to slightly ripen. Much longer than this and they’ll be too soft. You’ll only need about 5 pears for the pie, but I suggest picking up an extra in case any develop soft spots.
Peel the pears, then cut them into (about) 1/2-inch chunks. You’ll mix the pears with sugar + cinnamon, and flour to thicken. A pinch of ground ginger adds that little something special, while a waterfall of caramel adds a BIG SOMETHING SPECIAL.
Because if caramel’s divine with apples, it’s gotta be great with pears– right? You’ll add about 1/2 cup of homemade caramel to the pear filling. Just pour it right on top so it sinks into every crevice. I use my salted caramel, though I reduce the salt slightly. See my recipe note about the caramel.
The caramel pear filling is nestled under a lattice topping. Top the pie with any pie crust design you’d like, but I prefer a lattice here. You can spy the gorgeous pears and caramel sauce bubbling up that way. 🙂
November’s Baking Challenge is all about pie crust designs, so let your creativity shine here. Here’s some pie crust design insPIEration.
I cannot stop using that word.
This caramel pear pie will definitely be part of my Thanksgiving dessert spread. (Noelle’s first!)
Some people are stuffing people, some folks are turkey people, some peeps might be into cranberry sauce, and others just show up for pie. I know where we all stand.
Happy Pie Week!
Caramel Pear Pie
- Homemade Pie Crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; 1 for bottom 1 for top)
- 6 cups 1/2-inch chunks of peeled pears (about 5 pears)
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice*
- 1 cup salted caramel (full recipe)*
- egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
- optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling on crust
- The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
- Make the filling: Stir the pears, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Set filling in the refrigerator as the oven preheats.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (keep the other one in the refrigerator). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9x2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth.
- Spoon the filling into the crust, leaving any excess liquid in the bowl (you don't want that in the filling-- discard it). Drizzle 1/2 cup of caramel evenly on top. Stick the pie in the refrigerator as you work on the top crust.
- Arrange the lattice: Remove the other disc of chilled pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough into a circle that is 12 inches diameter. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut ten 1-inch strips. (I cut four of the strips in half, as you can see above.) Remove the pie from the refrigerator and carefully thread the pie dough strips over and under one another to create the look in the pictures pie, pulling back strips as necessary to weave. Press the edges of the strips into the bottom pie crust edges to seal. Use a small knife to trim off excess dough. Flute the edges or crimp with a fork. (Alternatively, you can simply cover the filling with the 12-inch pie dough circle. Cut slits in the top to form steam vents. Trim and crimp the edges.)
- Lightly brush the top of the pie crust with the egg wash mixture and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
- Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Keeping the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 350°F (177°C) and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly.
- Allow the pie to cool for 3 full hours at room temperature before serving. This time allows the filling to thicken up. Before serving, drizzle leftover caramel on top of pie or on each slice. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Make ahead tip/Freezing: A couple ways to make ahead of time! Make 1 day in advance-- after it cools, cover tightly and keep at room temperature. The pie crust dough can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Baked pie also freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. Prepared filling can also be frozen up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
- A squeeze of fresh lemon brightens up the overall flavor of the filling. You won't regret adding it!
- I use my homemade salted caramel in this pie. I reduce the salt to 1/2 salt so that it's a sweeter caramel. You can leave it as salted caramel if you prefer.
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