Over the holidays, our dear friend J. gave us a box of pears so fragrant and juicy, my mom and I still reminisce about those pears months later.
This headed us into eating pears throughout the season; we’d get pears on our weekly grocery run and snack on them throughout the week or incorporate them into breakfast and salads.
This is the part in the story where I tell you that I have a slight food allergy to raw pears.
Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious.
I have seasonal allergies, and in the spring when the pollen count is high, pears exacerbate my allergies; it’s a condition called oral allergy syndrome.
Luckily, I was never a great lover of pears; this dalliance grew from one wonderful experience with a box of perfumed luscious pears I couldn’t resist.
We started cooking with them more and more as we slowly eased into spring; we poached, made crumble, galettes and this fantastic pear pie.
This salted caramel pear pie sort of just happened, the way the best desserts sometimes come about.
We had pears that had sat on the counter for far too long and some salted caramel sauce that needed to be used up.
If you do make this salted caramel sauce, the recipe, which I’ve included in this post, will make more caramel sauce than you need but really, there’s no such thing as too much caramel sauce.
Use it on ice cream and other desserts, slather it on bread or make fondue…
The pie turned out quite lovely, the delicate baked pears tastes divine with the glorious salted caramel topping.
The dough is lightly spiced with cardamom, cinnamon and a dash of turmeric for a bit of colour.
You want to get together with a friend (or family) and share this pie, while it’s still warm top a healthy slice with a large scoop ice cream, and savour, and have lengthy chats about things that make you happy, perhaps places you’d like to visit.
Afterwards, when it’s all gone, you’d know you couldn’t have come up with a better dessert to end a magical season of pears.
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 6 tablespoons (3oz) salted ‘butter’, cut into pieces (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free Spread)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
- Have all your ingredients ready and measured before you start
- Pour sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed medium deep saucepan and stir together with a wooden spoon over medium heat until sugar dissolves
- Stop stirring as soon as the sugar starts boiling, you can use the pan to swirl the sugar around until all the sugar has dissolved
- The liquid sugar should be amber in colour, add the butter immediately and whisk until butter has melted
- Take the mixture off the heat and slowly and carefully pour in the coconut milk and salt, and whisk until the sauce is smooth
Salted Caramel Pear Pie
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (4oz) coconut oil, chilled & cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 – 3 tablespoons chilled water
- Combine flour, coconut oil, sugar, salt, turmeric, cinnamon and cardamom in a food processor
- Pulse until well incorporated
- Add the apple cider vinegar and pulse to combine
- Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until dough forms
- Alternatively, you can mix ingredients by hand – once dough has a crumbly texture, add apple cider vinegar and water a spoonful at a time kneading until dough comes together
- Flatten dough into a round disc, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or as long as 24 hours, until you’re ready to use
Filling & Assembly
- 2 pounds baking pears, such as Bosc or Anjou (about 4 pears), sliced
- 1 tablespoon juice of lemon
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of ground turmeric
- 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce (or more as desired)
- In a large bowl, toss sliced pears with lemon juice and sugar
- Add arrowroot powder, cinnamon, cardamom, salt and turmeric, and mix until pears are evenly coated
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and remove dough from the fridge
- On a flour-dusted surface, roll dough (using a rolling pin) into a thin large circle, large enough to cover a medium (8 – 9-inch pan) pie pan with a bit of an overhang
- Gently lift the dough and line it with the pie pan
- Pour filling into pie shell, spreading the mixture evenly
- Pour the salted caramel over the filling and gently tap the dish on the counter to settle the sauce
- Flute the edges of the pie crust with a fork or your hand to make a pretty pattern (not the mess I made of mine)
- If you left over dough, roll it out in even thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes and use as your top crust
- Bake pie in oven for 40 – 45 minutes, or until crust and top is golden brown
- Let pie cool on wire rack and enjoy!