Pears taste like fall to me, so I decided a pie with pears was in order for dessert. While thinking about the method, I remembered that Andy thought the apples in last week's Streusel-Topped Apple Pie were too firm (they were just right to me). My solution for this pie was to sauté sliced pears in butter and brown sugar to soften them before adding them to the piecrust. The lovely star cutouts on top are complements of Andy. Maybe a job in food styling is in his future!
Caramelized Pear Pie
1/2 cup butter
5 Bosc pears, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 cup brandy
2 recipes Pastry Dough
Vanilla ice cream (optional)
1. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add in sliced pears, brown sugar, and next 3 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until pears begin to soften. Remove skillet from heat, and stir in brandy. Return to heat, and cook stirring occasionally, 10 more minutes.
2. Roll out 1 recipe Pastry Dough, and place in pie plate. Spoon in pear mixture. Roll out remaining Pastry Dough, and place over top of pear mixture. Crimp edges to seal. Use cookie cutters or cut slits in the top with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape.
3. Bake at 425° for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.