Because I have just discovered that I like pears, I have never done any baking with them at all. When we saw these beautiful ones at the market for 50 cents each, I brought home a bunch, then realized I would need to bake something. Excellent.
How do you choose what kind of pear dessert to make? I almost made crisp, but we were low on oats, I thought about muffins, but I always make muffins. Then I was thinking some kind of savoury tart with blue cheese, but I wanted something sweet. The uncertainty ended quickly when the word pear pie escaped my lips. Suddenly J was paying attention, fully invested in my baking expedition, and wanted pear pie. Pie it was.
So I opened up a pie cookbook I bought him for his birthday a few years ago (and yes trust me it was a gift for him, he has made one recipe, I have made several), and found a recipe for caramelized pear pie. I made a few minor adjustments, I used my favorite pie crust recipe, and reduced the amount of rum the filling called for. I also added an apple because I didn’t have quite enough pears.
This pie wasn’t the prettiest girl on the block, in the end I still could’ve had more fruit because it reduced so much, and I had to substitute a bit of crisco for butter in my crust because we were low. (Working with crisco in your pie dough is way harder, who knew?) But it certainly was a tasty, and the filling was very buttery but not too sweet. Apparently, I should make it again.
Caramelized Pear Pie(one 9" pie)
Adapted from Pie Pie Pie
Peel and core your pears, cut into 1/3" slices crosswise. In a large skillet (make sure it is a big one!) melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring regularly. Add pears, lemon and salt. The pears will release their juice and produce a significant amount of liquid. Allow mixture to simmer, stirring regularly until thickened and pears are coated in caramel. This will take 10 -30 minutes depending on the ripeness of your pears. Stir in rum and simmer for one more minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 425F. Roll out your dough into two circles, and line the pie plate with the first. Add in pears with their liquid and cover with remaining dough. Seal and flute the edges. Poke all over top with a fork.
Bake for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake for another 20-25 or until crust is nice and browned. Remove and allow to cool, serve warm or at room temperature.