The fabulousness of this pie is that it can be stored at room temperature for 3 days, and the pear flavor actually intensifies but the crust remains crisp. Dean Pollak has made this very pie for Thanksgiving for the last 15 years, and it is her favorite of all the five pies she serves for the holiday.
2 ½ pounds ripe Bartlett or Bosc pears (about 6 or 7)
1 tablespoon lemon, freshly squeezed
6 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Cut pears in half and core them. Slice lengthwise into sixteenths, about ½ inch thick. Pears are softer than apples, so they can be sliced thicker. You will have about 6 cups of pears. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 6 tablespoons of sugar and the ¼ teaspoon of salt. Allow the pears to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and a max of 3 hours.
Transfer pears and their juices to a colander suspended over a bowl to collect the liquid. In a small saucepan, over medium high heat, boil down this liquid, with the butter, until syrupy and lightly caramelized. Swirl the liquid but do not stir. You will have about a ½ cup. Toss pears with the cornstarch. Pour the syrup over the pears, tossing gently. (Don’t worry — if the liquid hardens on contact with the pears, it will dissolve during baking.)
Roll out crusts and put bottom crust in a pie plate, preferably glass. Transfer the pear mixture to the pie shell. Moisten the border of the bottom crust with a little water. Place top crust over fruit. Press down to crimp border. (At this time, you may cover pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour, up to overnight, to relax dough.)
Preheat oven to 425 for at least 20 minutes. Set oven rack on lowest level. Place foil on bottom of oven to catch juices. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until juices bubble through slashes. After 30 minutes cover edges with foil if they are browning too much. Cool pie for at least 4 hours before cutting.
And guess what? Nothing better for breakfast than pear pie with a cup of coffee.☺