It feels like for quite a while that this blog was all about pies. Strawberry pies, blueberry peach pie, a fig and plum pie, a granny smith apple pie in the works, and this one. For me, there is nothing like assembling an intricate lattice top. Summer and fall also begged for all the fruits pies to be made; it only seemed natural to encase the great selection of in-season fruits in between two blankets of pie dough. With the end of fall slowly, but steadily, coming around the corner, I think my pie phase will slowly wind down as well. Maybe. Unless I start making custard-based pies. But I can’t put a lattice top on that. So what fun is that? We will see.
Just the mere thought of decorating a cake already feels refreshing to me. The idea of placing sugared rosemary and jewel-like cranberries on top of a cake has already got my heart skipping beats. Knowing me, I will also buy a million dollars worth of flowers and place that on top of the cake as well. Funny side note: it always give me a good chuckle when I am on the bus with a bouquet of flowers (for my cake!) in hand and a stranger makes a remark about how sweet it is that I received flowers. In the most deadpan manner, I tell them “actually, I bought these for myself.” Let all the awkward feelings commence.
I hope pears are still in season by the time you see this. Or at least available for you to purchase. Because this pie is definitely a keeper. Even though pears are not necessary winter fruits, this pie makes me feel all warm and cozy. I know that is a common property of freshly baked pie but this one especially. Maybe it is the salted caramel. But without a doubt it is also the oatmeal. I saw Lady and Pups post a recipe for blueberry oatmeal pie earlier in the summer – she used oatmeal as a way to prevent a soggy bottom crust and to add texture to the pie filling. Ummmm…genius?! The idea of a soggy bottom crust scares the hell out of me. Do not get me wrong - I will still inhale an entire pie despite a soggy bottom crust, but when I get a good crisp bottom crust? Cue the dancing lady emojis.
Just because there is fruit and oatmeal in this pie, having a big slice as breakfast may not be the best idea. It is only the best idea if you add a scoop of ice cream to it. It is an even better idea when this all happens before 9am.
Fleur de Sel Caramel Pear Oatmeal Pie
Yields one 9-inch pie
Fleur de Sel Caramel
Yields 1/2 cup caramel sauce
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
1/4 cup (120ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
*Note: I usually double this amount and keep the other half handy in the fridge. The caramel is great for apple slices
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoon whole milk
5 cups of thinly sliced pears (from about 5 - 7 pears)
Juice of one lemon
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
**1/4 cup oatmeal filling from above
All-Butter Pie Crust
Recipe from Four & Twenty Blackbirds
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup cold butter, unsalted, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup cold water
4 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 cup ice
Fleur de Sel Caramel
Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula.
Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick amber-coloured liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added, so be careful. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted.
Very slowly, pour in heavy cream while stirring. The caramel is going to bubble aggressively again. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils, so keep an eye on it.
Remove from heat and stir in fleur de sel. Set the sauce aside to cool for 15 minutes prior to pouring it into a glass jar to cool completely.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix quick oats, dark brown and granulated sugar.
Transfer 1/4 cup of the oatmeal-mixture into a separate bowl. We will use this for the pear filling.
Add milk to the remaining oatmeal-mixture and mix until resembling wet sand. Set aside.
Peel and core pears. Slice pears into 1/4 inch slices and toss with lemon juice.
Add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, reserved 1/4 cup of oatmeal filling and mix well.
All-Butter Pie Crust
In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay!).
Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a small bowl.
Add two tablespoons of the liquid mixture over the flour mixture. Mix and cut it in with bench scraper or spatula until fully incorporated. Continue adding the liquid, one to two tablespoons at a time. Mix until the dough comes together in a ball.
Shape the dough into two flat discs, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Once the dough has chilled, roll out the dough in between two sheets of parchment and fit it on the pie plate.
Assembly and Baking
Line pie pan with bottom crust. Evenly spread the oatmeal filling on top of the bottom crust.
Pour half of pear filling on top of the bottom oatmeal layer. Evenly distribute the 1/2 cup of fleur de sel caramel sauce over pie filling. Top with remainder of pear filling
Seal with top crust or lattice top.
Coat top crust with a simple egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place pie on a baking sheet before putting it in the oven, just in case any juices bubble over. Bake at 425F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375F and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, 30 to 35 minutes longer.
If the top crust is starting to get a little dark too quickly, place a pie shield on the pie.
Once ready, let pie set for at least 2 - 3 hours before cutting into it.