I've found a new pie that just *might* be my new favorite.
For a long, long time, I have loved Lemon Meringue Pie. And in most recent years, this yuzu variation, which is essentially the same thing but with a different citrus. It's the dessert I would make almost every time I would visit Popo. I would crave that pucker-y custard filling and fluffy meringue topping. I'm not sure what I did the last time I made it, or maybe it really is best eaten the same day it comes out of the oven but I have found that I am not really fond of leftover Lemon Meringue Pie anymore. Maybe I am not blind baking the crust enough or maybe I should try brushing the bottom with egg white? Has anyone tried this? But for whatever reason, the fact that the crust gets soggy/syrup-soaked in Lemon Meringue Pie no longer appeals to me. I dread it and in general I really love leftovers and have loved leftover Lemon Meringue Pie in the past. So, I have found that I don't gravitate towards Lemon Meringue Pie as much as I used to unless I know I will be sharing it with enough people to eat it all on the same day.
But, that doesn't mean I won't ever make it or won't ever eat it again or that it is no longer my favorite. Someone in my family has requested Lemon Meringue Pie for Thanksgiving which I am happily looking forward to making because there is no chance I will run into the soggy bottom dilemma and there will be plenty of people to eat it. Maybe then it will come back up in the ranks as one of my favorite pies once I eat it again.
This Pear & Caramel Pie is the pie I would make if I knew I wanted leftover pie. Not to say that it isn't best when it is fresh, because it is! It keeps well and makes an excellent breakfast or dessert the next day. Whether or not food keeps well as leftovers is often the motto of the food I make these days. Along with, "Does this use up X ingredient?".
I have always gravitated towards apples in pie but that seemed kind of boring to me this year. My friend Jenny has a Kieffer Pear Tree which produce some of the best baking pears. They are a firm pear and not too sweet, similar to an Asian Pear. When baked, they are still juicy, still hold their shape and pair so nicely with the caramel sauce. Oh, I am such a sucker for caramel anything.
I received Yossy Arefi's book, Sweeter off the Vine for my birthday and I knew I had to make this pie. It's rare that I look through a cookbook and want to make everything in it. Immediately upon reading it, I was drawn to everything—the theme, the photography, the styling, the recipes, the colors and even the design. Since I made that Caramel Cake for my birthday, I still had a bunch of the sauce leftover just waiting to be put into something. So this pie was an obvious must.
I love pies (or any dessert really, that is sweet but not sugary). In this pie, the pears really shine, the crust is wonderfully flaky (I went with my old standard), and the caramel helps create a beautiful "self serving" sauce. No gloopy filling to be found here!
I ate my slice with an additional drizzle of caramel sauce but whipped cream or vanilla ice cream would have also "peared" nicely with it. ;)
It's been a while since I've eaten a dessert and thought, "Man, this is the stuff!" but that is definitely what went through my mind when eating this pie. It just further solidified my belief in #teampie even after I had the best cake I've had in a long while only the week before.
And what do you do with leftover crust bits and extra filing? Make a leftover mini pie, like this one.
Pear & Caramel Pie
Adapted from the Pear Pie with Crème Fraîche Caramel from Yossy Arefi's book, Sweeter off the Vine
Caramel Sauce from Style Sweet CA