Credit: David Thompson


If you’re like Ali Thompson and brought in a big pear harvest this year, you may still have a pile of them in your fridge or basement.

Here’s an outstanding recipe from our edible-garden expert Sharon Hanna (also a fantastic cook!) for all pear-challenged gardeners. Sharon has asked me to post it here, as this is one of her most-requested recipes:

Caramel-Topped Pear Pie

This recipe makes two 8 or 9” pies, enough to serve 8-12 (or, two teenagers). The ‘caramel’-effect is achieved by drizzling whipping cream over the streusel topping.

Start with two pie crusts (homemade or bought).
3 1/2 pounds pears – ripe but not overripe (about 6 or 7 good-sized)
3/4 cup flour, divided (1/2 and 1/4)
1 tsp. cinnamon
One big lemon or two smaller ones, juiced to make about 1/2 cup
Pinch salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cold butter
6 tbsp. whipping cream (unwhipped)

Peel, core and slice pears loosely in half inch slices or chunks into a bowl. Squeeze lemon juice over the pear pieces, toss gently to coat. If the pears are VERY juicy, add 1/4 cup flour, toss, and let stand. (If they aren’t so juicy, use 2 or 3 tbsp. flour)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Oven rack should be about 1/3 up from the bottom

In another bowl, mix 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Cut butter into small pieces, then using two knives or your fingers work quickly to incorporate butter into streusel mixture until pieces are pea-sized.

Spoon 1/2 pear mixture into each crust, flatten down the pears lightly. Do not mound pears in centre. Sprinkle half of the streusel mix on each pie. Press down lightly. Drizzle 3 tbsp. whipping cream over each pie. Take your time and try to semi-coat all areas.

Bake 20 minutes at 425 F.

Lower heat to 350F and bake another 20 minutes – pie should be bubbly, caramel-coloured, but not burned. Keep your eye on it! If your oven is HOT, adjust these temperatures.

This pie is not too sweet, and satisfying to serve – after cooling for about an hour it cuts easily into slices. Go ahead and whip the rest of the cream and serve with the pie if you are feeling particularly decadent!

Do you have any feedback or comments? Or maybe you have a recipe of your own to share? Use the comment form and let us know what you think!