Fall is the season for creating nourishing foods that prepare our bodies and minds for the impending winter. The cool weather, and the colours of autumn leaves and landscape, inspire me to revisit rustic recipes that have served me well over the years. Earthy pears, beetroots, and apples sweetened with syrup or sugar, or spiced with cinnamon, cardamom or cloves, seem all but necessary this time of year.
One of my favourite fruits to cook with in the fall are pears. There is something magical about pear trees, and the red (Anjou), gold (Bosc) and green (Bartlett/ Williams) fruits they bear. While varieties differ in touch and taste, in general, pears have the kind of texture and a mild flavour that works well for both savoury and sweet dishes. This weekend I baked Caramel Pear Pies from a Donna Hay food magazine, I have from many moons ago.
It has a rich caramel base that's light and almost springy in texture. I used small red Anjou pears and the golden syrup called for in the recipe can be found either in the international, or baking aisle of grocery stores—a bit of leg work, but worth every sticky whisk.
This pie is full of delicious seasonal flavours, and buttery textures that will melt in your mouth. With the pandemic, we have to make home a little sweeter this year and a place that we can just be with our families. Try this caramel pear pie, I am certain it will help a little! What is your favourite pie or tart recipe for fall?
Donna Hay's Caramel Pear Pie
3 pears that have been peeled, halved, and cored and then poached until just tender
1 quantity of basic pastry dough (homemade or frozen store bought)
1 egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing ½ cup of brown sugar ½ cup of golden syrup 40 g butter, melted 3 eggs ¼ cup of pouring cream
Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F).
Roll out pastry dough to 3mm thick and line the base of a lightly greased 28 cm shallow metal pie tin and trim the excess pastry. Gently press the edges with the back of a teaspoon and brush with egg white. Place on a baking tray.
Place sugar, golden syrup, butter, eggs and cream in a bowl and whisk to combine. Arrange the pear halves in the base of the pastry shell and pour over the caramel mixture.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until just set. Allow to cool in tin. Serves 6.