Caramel Pear Pie

slice of caramel pear pie on a white plate with a fork

Welcome to day 5 in my annual Pie Week. Let’s review:

And drumroll please… today’s all about pears. And caramel, cinnamon, butter, pie crust, and cute utensils. Soooo unpredictable of me.

overhead image of caramel pear pie

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.

pear pie filling in a glass bowl

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.

pouring salted caramel sauce onto pear pie filling before baking

Because if caramel’s divine with apples, it’s gotta be great with pears– right? 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.

lattice pie dough topping on caramel pear pie

brushing egg wash onto lattice pie crust before baking

The caramel pear filling is nestled under a lattice pie crust 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.

Here’s some pie crust design insPIEration. 😉

caramel pear pie in a glass pie dish with a slice removed

Some people are stuffing people, some are turkey people, some might be into cranberry sauce, and others just show up for pie. I know where we all stand.

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slice of caramel pear pie on a white plate with a fork

Caramel Pear Pie

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 7 hours
  • Yield: 8-10 servings
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Sweet and succulent cinnamon pear pie with homemade caramel and a buttery pie crust.


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  4. 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 9×2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.)
  7. Lightly brush the top of the pie crust with the egg wash mixture and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead / Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: Peeler | Glass Mixing Bowls | Pastry Cutter | Rolling Pin | Glass Scalloped Pie Dish | Pie Crust Baking Shield | Pastry Brush | Pizza CutterCoarse Sparkling Sugar
  3. Lemon Juice: A squeeze of fresh lemon brightens up the overall flavor of the filling. You won’t regret adding it!
  4. Caramel: 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.

41 Comments

  1. I just made this last night and it was divine! I used store bought frozen pie crust because I was a bit short on time but I did make the caramel. It was all really good! The pear flavor really shine through and the texture of the cooked pear is much better than apple (i always found most apple pie a bit too mushy to my taste)
    I served it with vanilla ice cream and a good drizzle of caramel, everyone loved it! I will definitively make this again, with the homemade crust next time because it must be even better!
    Thanks for a great recipe

  2. Hello! I’m planning to bake this pie Sunday and was just curious as to why the oven temperature change mid-way through cooking? Does it help thicken the mixture?

    1. The initial high temperature will help brown the crust while the lower temperature will cook that pie filling perfectly. Enjoy!

  3. Hi Sally, I want to make this recipe with half pears and half apples. Would this be okay? Should I alter the baking time in any way? I want to make it for Thanksgiving!! 🙂 Thanks!! 

    1. Absolutely! No need to alter the baking time. Should be about the same.

  4. Kristen Weinhardt says:

    I made this pie for today, and oh my goodness. FIrst of all, THANK YOU for putting the instruction to place the pie on a cookie sheet in the recipe.. Mine definitely boiled over the side. Second, thank you for telling me to leave the juice in the bowl. My fruit pies have always been soupy, and now I know why! Third, the pie actually set!! It wasn’t a watery mess. I got so many compliments on the crust(your recipe, of course!) and on the pie in general. A lovely recipe. Thank you!

  5. Hi Sally, I tried this pie and ounce the pie cooled there was soooo much liquid. It was water logged (more than a cup). Do you know why happened?

    We saved it by blind baking more crust and transfering The fillng (no liquid). Everyone loved it 🙂

    1. Oh no! Were the pears particularly juicy or over-ripe? I’ve made it often and haven’t had that issue! I’m glad you still enjoyed it.

  6. I am making my second pear caramel pie today. It became my favorite (well, not counting apricot pie) after the first bite. I also find your crust recipe to be the BEST. I’ve been making pies for decades and this crust is truly the finest.

    Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Made this pie last night…I think pear may be my new favorite fruit in pies! I default to apple a lot bc its such a crowd pleaser…I found this pie to be so delicate…beautiful subtle sweetness…I did add a touch more ginger and cinnamon (heaping spoons)
    Also I cannot comment on the crust bc I used a different recipe, but 5 stars for the filling!

  8. Made this last night to test out on my gaming group before making for my mother in law’s birthday in a couple weeks and my GOD. Knocked it totally out of the park, so incredibly good. The caramel is divine, definitely going to be serving extra on the side. MIL is an ace baker, but here in Norway, this US (where I’m from) style of pie isn’t the standard, so I thought it was a good option for something special. I’ve never made a successful pie crust on my own before and was very nervous, but the all-butter recipe was perfect, and an ideal fit for the only pie dish like thing I could find here (still closer to a tart pan, and a little bigger I think than the Pyrex workhorse I was hoping to find, but it baked well!). The pears had such an elegant sweetness and creamy texture when baked, a really lovely contrast to the flaky, slightly savory crust. My only tweak was adding a pinch of cardamom, which is a very common baking spice here and I just love. Online tips for grating frozen butter into the flour helped me a good deal. I even did a lattice on top! A truly marvelous presentation-worthy dessert that I’m excited to share with my family. Definitely saving this recipe as a go-to, and I expect the caramel sauce will be a regular in my fridge as well. It really is to die for.

    PS: thanks for including imperial and metric measures for the recipes. It’s very helpful! My feel for cooking still measures in US terms but when I’m actually preparing stuff I’m on the scale so it’s really nice to have both.

  9. This is an amazing recipe! I am making it again!

  10. We have a pear tree, so i made this recipy. I switched the pie crust for the all butter one (because in the netherlands shortening isn’t all that available). We all loved the pie, but next time I’ll make a bit less caramel. Thank you so much for adding the grams next to the cups, cooking with cups as measurement is such a foreign concept for me.

  11. Sally, can I use fresh frozen pears that i picked last summer from my trees? Is there anything different I would need to do?

    1. Hi Sara! You can use frozen pears. Thaw them in the refrigerator before mixing with the other filling ingredients.

      1. Thank you so much for your reply! Since I have BAGS of them in the freezer, it’s a perfect way to use them up and create a fabulous dessert at the same time ‍

  12. We have pear trees as well and most of them go to compost. We had a family vacation scheduled in Gatlinburg, TN so I decided to research pear pie recipes…so glad I did. I followed everything to a T and everything ( the crust, the salted caramel and the pie) was wonderful. I made 3 pies and they were served with vanilla bean ice cream….so delicious a hit with everyone, even pear doubters, lol. Thank you Sally

    1. How amazing to have a pear tree! So happy this recipe was a hit 🙂

  13. I made this pie to a T- the crust, the filling, the salted caramel, everything. Well, I did decrease the salt in the salted caramel to 3/4 . However, oh my goodness- it was by far the best pie I’ve ever made! The crust was PERFECT. The pears in the filling held their texture beautifully. It wasn’t overly sweet (something I don’t like in pies). It even set and held its shape! I did let it cool for around 4 hours, which definitely helped. I mean, it was PURE PERFECTION. I made it last week for the boyfriend’s family- and got rave reviews. THANK YOU! Can’t wait to try more recipes from your site!

  14. Caroline Omeara says:

    is it possible to make this with pears and apples?

    1. Definitely! You can use half apples and half pears. I would slice them all up into chunks, as I instruct with these pears. You can make the apple chunks a bit smaller since larger chunks will take longer to cook.

  15. Can I make this pie with canned peaches and pears mixed?

    1. I don’t recommend canned fruit for this pie.

  16. I have so many pears and all of your recipes have been over the top delicious! I never follow recipes exact( it’s just not in my nature) but from experience, I’ve learned your recipes are my go to base. You are truly in love with what you do and it shows! What a wonderful gift you share!

  17. Absolutely delightful! Used Asian pears because we have a tree. I was so excited to make my own caramel too and your recipe for that is fab. Thank you for sharing all your innovative recipes.

  18. We planted a pear tree in 2019 and we got a harvest of some 30 bartletts this year. We made your recipe for caramel pear pie and our pie turned out beautifully. So yummy! The cooling of the caramel inside the pie really helped the cut slices to keep their shape. Thank you for sharing your recipe. MM in Ontario Canada.

  19. Made this pie for my hubby following all your directions exactly. I’ve never had much luck making pie crust, but my husband was in astonishment that this was the best pie he had ever had. Also said even the crust is good! My Sincere thanks to you for sharing your recipes. Oh, even the Carmel sauce came out perfect…yumm!

  20. Hi Sally. I followed the recipe exactly and the pie turn out…just okay. For one, there was a lot of liquid at the bottom (even though I strained the pears before putting it into the pie, and I also didn’t feel like the caramel was a standout; it kind of got lost. I had high hopes for this pie – so not sure where it went wrong.

  21. This pie sounds delicious. I would like to make it the day before. Can I just keep in the fridge overnight? And, we like our pie warm, is heating in the oven an option before serving? If so, what is your recommendation for length of time and degrees?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Robyn, To make 1 day in advance– after it cools, cover tightly and keep at room temperature. See recipe notes for details. If it’s stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator you can reheat the pie in a warm oven to your liking. Enjoy!

  22. Very disappointed.

    You begin with, “I suggest picking up an extra (pear) in case any develop soft spots.”

    Around here, if a pear is soft all over, it’s ripe. You made it sound like I should use pears not yet ripened. I had Royal Rivera pears (expensive). They were firm but only a couple days from ripening. I figured that was what you were after. So I used them. They weren’t the slightest bit sweet, and had not yet developed any pear flavor! Huge waste of time and money.

    Also had issues wirh your pie crust recipe, which I followed. EXACTLY. You emphasized cold butter, Crisco, and water so much, that I had a hell of a time cutting the butter into the dough. Because of this, I probably over worked it. I added ice water very slowly, until the dough was, as you refer to only slightly sticky. I formed two one inch disks as you directed and put them into the refrig for a couple hours. It was impossible to roll them out without cracking and crumbling. My pie plate was exactly 9″ diameter. But there no way on earth that a 1 /4″ thick disk would cover that pan. I had to roll it out thinner ( ess than 3/16″ ) just to get the coverage, and then it became nearly impossible to transfer to the pan. It stuck to my floured board, and cracked apart when I tried to move or lift it. What do you do then? You don’t say. .. I had to form the pieces in the pan. Even at 3/16″ thick, I did not have enough dough to flute the edges. The top was worse. Could not weave the strips, as they kepr crumbling. I just cris – crossed them. Waste of 6 pears and a whole afternoonoon.

  23. What a perfect idea to pair pears and salted caramel! So simple to make and delicious!

  24. Beata Cambal says:

    Wow, best pie ever!!

  25. Used a different (all butter) pie crust recipe but followed this recipe for the filling and it turned out really great! I made mini pies with no pie crust on the top. This amount of filling made about 24

  26. Can I use werther’s caramel instead of making it from scratch? I have some leftover I’d like to use up and some fresh from the tree pears..

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Is it a caramel sauce? If so, that should work in a pinch. You don’t want to use candies here. Hope you enjoy the pie!

  27. I read so many positive comments on this recipe that I just had to try it and it did not disappoint! As a matter of fact, my husband was very reluctant to try it, but did so, and said that this pear pie is better than apple! I mainly followed the recipe as written with two exceptions. Some of the reviews commented on the amount of juice this pie makes, so I added 1 TBS of tapioca to the 1/4 cup of flour. I also used a store bought refrigerator crust. I did not have any issues with the pie juicing too much. It’s just simply delicious…a keeper recipe.

  28. I never made a pie before in my life but like everyone else I had a pear tree and wanted so badly to use the pears… so I find this recipe and it sounded good. Well it was amazing! The hardest part for me was rolling the dough that had been refrigerated for a few days, I just took my time and tried to repair cracks as I rolled, then very gently had to weave the strips as they kept breaking. Not that It really mattered because once the pie is baked it looked beautiful, and tasted so incredible. I will be making this again and again! Thank you for all your amazing recipes!

  29. I have a question…in the ingredient list the caramel quantity is 1 cup, but on the instructions it says 1/2 cup drizzled over the pears. Where does the other half cup of caramel go?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Becky, A full recipe of the caramel makes 1 cup but yes, we only use about a 1/2 cup here. There are so many ways to enjoy the rest of the caramel that we actually have a post 50 Ways to Eat Salted Caramel

  30. Lovely crust, easy to work (Pie crust is tricky. For those of you having trouble I’d suggest you probably got too much flour in the dough, and you just needed to add a tiny bit more water. That’s pie crust 101.) It’s a very flavorful crust, a nice balance between the flakiness of a shortening crust and the tenderness of an oil crust. It’s a delicious keeper and made a LOVELY pie. (I admit to substituting lard for the shortening; that’s personal preference).
    I don’t remember ever making caramel from scratch, the melting sugar part always terrified me. I’ve done it twice now using this recipe and it worked both times (I have a gas stove, so have to lift the pan off the heat often during the melting-sugar stage, that prevented scorching).
    I wasn’t overwhelmed with the flavor of the pie itself, eaten cold, but I cut back on the sugar because I used VERY ripe pears, and even at that the filling probably needed more lemon juice. The caramel is very flavorful warm, so I expect it also will be a keeper served hot. All in all a recipe I’ve printed to bake again!

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