Dutch Pear & Nutmeg Pie is a warm, wonderful pie filled with Fall’s other sweet, juicy and often overlooked fruit, delicately spiced with grated nutmeg and topped with a sandy, buttery streusel crumble topping. Watch out, apple pie!
Dutch Pear & Nutmeg Pie
This Fall, switch up your Thanksgiving pie game with a pear pie instead of apple! This Dutch Pear & Nutmeg Pie is a fantastic dessert that your family will go crazy over!
It feels like everyone everywhere is celebrating the return of the Fall season right now. We’re all starting to breathe a sigh of relief as the sweltering last days of summer melt away and the days are a little cooler and nights start to even get downright crisp. I am obsessed with that crisp feeling – the one that is made up of so much more than just lower temperatures but includes things like the sound and feel of dry, brown leaves crunching underfoot on our afternoon walks, the smell of wood fires burning in fireplaces or of leaves starting to decay in the woods when we go on hikes, the feel of soft sweaters and cozy jackets, and the way the Fall wind tousles your hair around. It’s all amazing and I am eager to soak it all up.
Everybody knows that when it comes to Fall food, there are a couple of heavy hitting flavors that will always be synonymous with the season – namely apple and pumpkin. I mean, I’ve already posted a couple of our favorites on here like Salted Caramel Apple Pie and Starbucks Copycat Twice Glazed Pumpkin Scones. But there are loads of other fruits and vegetables that really shine during this time of year but can be overlooked for their more renowned and glorious seasonal counterparts. Which is why I posted about Roasted Red Pepper Sauce last week and I’m posting about pears (the apple’s less glorious cousin) today.
Actually, Bartlett pears, which can be either green or red, start their season in late summer and continue through the fall, while Bosc and Comice pears are available starting in fall and through winter. Anjou (or d’Anjou) pears also come in both red and green varieties and they are considered more of a winter pear. But even they start their season in mid-fall, so you will start noticing lots of pear options filling up the produce section in your favorite grocery store or local farmer’s markets (if you are lucky enough to have one year round like we do).
Things to do with pears (besides eating them out of hand or baking them into a Dutch Pear & Nutmeg Pie)
- Slice them up and add them to your grilled cheese sandwich for a sweet & savory elevated combo
- Poach or grill them and serve with ice cream
- Add them to a salad
- Serve them with brie or even better – baked brie, which is one of my all-time favorite treats (recipe coming soon!)
When it comes to baking, Bosc and Anjou pears are probably your best bets, while Bartletts and Comice pears are best for eating out of hand as they don’t hold their shape as well when baked. That isn’t to say that Bartlett or Comice pears can’t be used in baking – in fact, like with my apple pies, I like to mix varieties of pears for a more complex flavor and texture. While Bosc or Anjou pear slices will hold their shape in the pie, the Bartletts or Comices will break down more and almost melt into a wonderful pear-sauce that surrounds the firmer slices of one of the firmer varieties.
The other thing to know when making pear pie is that it needs to be spiced mainly with nutmeg, not cinnamon. I tend to spice my pies on the lighter side because I want the fruit flavor to shine through, but even so, nutmeg is to pears as cinnamon is to apples, at least as far as this pie goes, and the flavor of pears and nutmeg is a wonderful, warm, unique surprise because we aren’t nearly as used to that fruit and spice combination as we are to apples and cinnamon.
I mean, you certainly could swap the cinnamon and nutmeg measurements in this pie if you felt like it and I have seen other variations of pear pie recipes that do just that. But in my opinion, using cinnamon as the primary spice in your pear pie will make it too similar to an apple pie and you will feel let down that it wasn’t more of a distinctive pie than most of the apples ones that we are used to.
Give your pears a chance to really shine by letting the nutmeg take center stage with them and giving cinnamon a supporting role in this dutch pear & nutmeg pie!
And if you like your pie à la mode, you should definitely try a generous slice of this gorgeous Dutch Pear & Nutmeg Pie with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream with some homemade salted caramel sauce drizzled over the top!
If you like this Dutch Pear & Nutmeg Pie, try one of these other delicious pie desserts!
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- 1 unbaked single pie crust
- 5 cups peeled and sliced pears (about 6 medium pears - cut into 1/2-inch thick slices)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Caramel sauce
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Dash of salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare pie crust and line the bottom of a pie dish with it.
In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the dutch streusel topping and stir to combine, squeezing together into small clumps with your hands if needed. Set aside.
Peel and slice the pears and add them to a large bowl. Add the sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, lemon zest and juice and gently toss to combine. Arrange the pear pie filling in the prepared crust, then spinkle the dutch streusel topping evenly over the pear filling, going all the way to the edge.
Bake at 375 for 1 hour or until the filling is bubbly and the crust and topping are golden brown.
I used a combination of 4 Bosc & 2 Bartlett pears. But you could also bake with Anjou pears or Comice pears. I just wouldn't recommend making a pear pie using only Bartlett & Comice pears though as they tend to break down more and would result in a mushier filling overall than if you pair them (get it?) with Boscs or Anjous.
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