This is a wonderfully comforting fall and winter pie. Pears spiced lightly with cinnamon and ginger are made all the richer by brown sugar and homemade caramel. Make the caramel first so that it has time to cool. Any leftover caramel can be used to garnish each slice of pie or save for future use. The caramel will keep for one week at room temperature in an airtight container or in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
(Makes one 9-inch double-crust deep-dish pie)
- 10.5 ounces granulated sugar
- 4 ounces water
- 9.65 ounces heavy cream
- 1.75 ounces unsalted butter, cubed, softened
- 3 pounds pears, peeled and medium diced
- 5 ounces brown sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 beaten egg and a splash of water
- For crust, roll dough into 2 circles about 12 inches in diameter. Bottom piece should be a little bit bigger, to cover pie dish. Fit bottom into dish and chill until ready to put filling in and top it. Chill top piece as well until ready to assemble pie.
- For caramel, combine sugar and water in large very clean saucepan over high heat. Make sure all utensils used are very clean as impurities can cause caramel to crystallize. Stir with spatula to dissolve sugar. Have pastry brush and cup of water ready to wash down sides of pot. Bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, wash down sides of pot periodically to prevent crystallization. It should become a deep amber/caramel, which is about 325˚F on a candy thermometer.
- When caramel is right color, slowly whisk cream into sugar syrup, being very careful to avoid steam that will burst up toward your hand. Continue to cook caramel for 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in butter.
- For filling, peel and cut fruit. Combine with all dry ingredients, tossing until evenly coated. Allow fruit to sit for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450°F
- Pull pie dish and top circle of pie from fridge. Trim overhanging edge of bottom crust with knife.
- Toss fruit again, and then pour it all into pie dish. Pour 1 cup caramel evenly over top of fruit.
- Egg wash rim of bottom crust lightly, and then put on top piece. Crimp edge of pie to seal it. Create a decorative edge by putting thumb and index finger of nondominant hand together and pressing dough together. Press dough into that wedge with other index finger in order to create a point. Do this around entire rim of pie.
- Cut 6 evenly spaced slits on top piece of pie, and egg wash top and edge. Place directly on baking stone, and bake for 1 hour. Top needs to be a deep golden brown and filling should be bubbling. If taking too long, raise pie up on rack so that it gets more direct heat. It may take another 10 minutes to bubble and color. Remove pie from oven and cool for 6 hours or more before serving to allow filling to set.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Drizzle extra caramel on top when plating each piece. Boom!
Recipe and photo from Baking By Hand: Make the Best Artisanal Breads and Pastries Better Without a Mixer by Andy and Jackie King.
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