I can’t possibly let you enter Thanksgiving week without another pie recipe.
As the person in charge of desserts in my family, I’m always looking to make something classic with a twist and this gorgeous pie is just that apples get all the attention in the fall, but baking with firm, sweet, juicy pears is in my opinion just as good but way more unique and impressive.
I don’t always take the extra time to make an extra special, decorative crust, but it really is so fun to me and results in a truly gorgeous pie.
If you want to go this route, I suggest making a little extra pie crust so you have plenty to work with. For this I used 3 single pie crust recipes, and combined two together to roll out for the strips I used for the braids. I had a lot extra that I have in the fridge for when Thanksgiving rolls around.
The key is using really cold dough- and chilling it in between steps. Once you have cut the strips and created the braids- pop them in the freezer while you get everything else ready and then arrange them on the pie. And you MUST freeze the whole pie for 15-30 minutes before baking. This will ensure that your pretty crust holds it’s shape in the oven. (If you are just doing a simple double crust I’d still freeze it for a few minutes to make sure the crust is cold going in.)
This pear pie is tossed with lemon juice and warm chai spices like cardamon, cinnamon, ginger and even a crack of black pepper. The result is just a bit more kick than what you’re probably used to with apple pie, but that same warm, melt-in-your-mouth goodness just waiting for a scoop of vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce or whipped cream.
Ingredients needed for Pear Pie Recipe:
- Fresh Pears
- Brown sugar
- Lemon Juice
- All purpose flour
- Pie Crust
Supplies needed for Pear Pie:
- Large bowl
- 9-inch pie plate
- Baking sheet
Supplies needed to make All Butter Crust
- Food Processor or pastry blender
- Plastic Wrap
- Medium bowl if blending by hand
- Rolling pin
On a lightly floured surface roll pie dough out to a 12 inch circle and drape it into a 9 inch pie pan. Pop the crust into the fridge while you prepare your pears. In a medium or large bowl combine the pear slices, dry ingredients, lemon juice, and water. Gently toss together and pour the pear mixture into chilled bottom crust. Either make a lattice crust, or in my case cut the top crust into 1-inch strips with a sharp knife or pastry cutter and make braids. Drape the braids over the top of the pie and trim edges, fold, and crimp if desired.
Pop entire pie in the fridge or freezer while you heat oven to 425 degrees F. Place pie onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F and baking for another 45-50 minutes.. If the crust seems to be getting too dark you can drape some foil or a pie crust shield on top for the remainder of the baking.
Enjoy warm or room temperature.
What are the best pears to bake with?
Pear varieties I like include: Bartlett Pears, Bosc Pears and Anjou Pears. You don’t want super ripe pears though, I think slightly under-ripe bakes at a better texture.
Other Fruit Pie Favorites for your Dessert Table:
- Caramel Dutch Apple Pie
- Blackberry Cranberry Crisp Pie
- Cheddar Streusel Apple Pie
- Brown Sugar Banana Cream Pie
- 2-3 single layers of Pie Crust (see note)
- 10 cups of peeled, thinly sliced pears (from about 8-10 pears depending on size, use something firm like bosc)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 3-4 twists of freshly ground black pepper (1/8 teaspoon, optional)
- ¼ cup water
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Keep crust chilling in the fridge while you prep the pears.
In a large pot or dutch oven, toss together the pears, brown sugar, flour, and spices. Stir in water and dot with the butter.
- Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, tossing everything around to par-cook the pears a bit. Keep checking to see when a pear slice is "bendy" and slightly tender, but for me I cooked them for 10-15 minutes.
- Allow pears to cool while you prep your dough. If you are doing a lattice or braided crust, roll some of the dough out now, form the braids, and freeze them until pie is ready to be assembled. If you are just doing a double crust- wait until the pears are mostly cool.
- Roll out one layer of crust and drape over the bottom of a 9- inch pie pan leaving a bit of overhang. Pour the cooled pears into the crust and top with another sheet of pie crust, a lattice top, or the braids.
Trim and crimp edge of crust and pop the whole thing in the freezer for 10-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425.F. Place pie onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then reducing the heat to 350F and baking for another 45-50 minutes.. If the crust seems to be getting too dark you can drape some foil on top for the remainder of the baking.
- Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
*If you want a little extra pie dough to work with for a decorative crust, I like to have a bit extra and usually make 3 batches of crust. If you are just doing a classic top, two single layers is fine!