Fall is one of the best times for food since it’s still warm enough out to smell the pears that have dropped from the tree – and are covered with munching bees and yellow jackets, yet it’s cool enough to really enjoying baking. And the pears are here! Comice, Bartlett, Bosc, Anjou, Seckels. All except the Seckel pears are good to eat fresh, but the two best for cooking that are easy to come by are Bosc and Anjou. Bartletts are fine for eating, but they fall apart and lose some of that pear flavor when the least bit of heat hits them. But Bosc and Anjou, both of which have a stronger pear flavor, also stand up well to cooking. Caramelized Pear Pie is actually more like a tart since you start with puff pastry and the layers of pears is not as thick as it would be for a traditional pie. It’s very rich, but good still warm and topped with homemade vanilla ice cream or whipped cream with a little rum and confectioner’s sugar in it. —fineartdaily
Filling and pie crust
frozen puff pastry, thawed in fridge
Bosc or other firm pear, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
Roll out thawed pastry while still cold and fit it into a buttered pie pan. Trim edges, prick with fork throughout. Return to fridge while working with the pears. Make streusel topping by putting all ingredients into a food processor and pulsing until mixture resembles very coarse meal and most of the pecan pieces are unrecognizable.
Slice three to four ripe but not overripe Bosc or Anjou pears -- Bosc are usually slightly drier, and hold up a little better in cooking -- about ¼ inch thick. In skillet or heavy pan –melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add 2 tablespoons whipping cream, nutmeg, and a dash of kosher salt. Lay pear slices in the caramel sauce to just heat, turned each carefully to keep from breaking apart. They will begin to exude their juices. You can do the pear cooking in batches to keep slices pristine, or you can fling them in willy nilly and stir to coat and heat. Don’t cook too long or they will be mushy.
Put pears into pastry pie shell, trying to get the depth even throughout. Drizzle remaining caramel from pan over the top. You can brush the exposed pastry edges with egg wash (a yolk mixed with water) if you want a shiny edge. Sprinkle streusel topping overtop and bake at 375°F for 35-45 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and browned.