Pear Dulce De Leche Pie

Pear Pie 95

If you’ve been following the Bon Vivant Facebook page, you’d know that pears narrowly beat a host of other pie contenders (including berries, rhubarb, chocolate fudge and boeuf bourguignon) to be the lucky filling to inaugurate our new pie dish. Remember last month’s Pecan confusion? Well, no longer. From here on out, pies will be pies and tarts will be tarts, all neatly contained in their appropriate vessels with an order that would make the most fastidious house-keeper blush.

12 comments, five pears and half a can of dulce de leche later, here’s the result of a very long thought process that began as a submission for this month’s Still Life With Photo Remake and resulted in the harvest (ok, purchase) of five Bartlett pears. Without a recipe to reference, I trawled the Internet for inspiration, stopping in my tracks when I saw Jude’s recipe for Poached Pears with Dulce de Leche sauce at Apple Pie, Patis and Paté.

Things started to fall in place; we were recently gifted two cans of this sweet goodness and employing it in a pie filling seemed perfect for its lush consistency. The product of an extended, slow simmer, dulce de leche is a sweetened milk that has been caramelized, and is widely deployed in many South American sweets and desserts. It’s easily recreated at home by pressure-cooking a few cans of condensed milk for 30 minutes. Or, in the absence of a pressure cooker, submerge said cans in a pot of water, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for three hours, as Ashley at Not Without Salt did.

Pear Pie montage

With some lemon zest, a splash of lemon juice and vanilla extract along with a drizzle of sugar, the different elements blended with spoonfuls of luscious dulce de leche to produce a pie that was way better than expected. As a pie novice playing around with flavor pairings in my head there were many things that could have gone wrong and I was fortunate that the flavors melded beautifully, with the pie’s pseudo-circular appearance being the only casualty.

I did, however, omit the cornstarch, which would have come in handy to thicken the filling and avoid an overflow of pear juice. Based on Laura’s Dulce de Leche Apple Pie recipe, I’ve included a third of a cup of cornstarch here to match the quarter-cup of dulce de leche used, although this is yet to be tested. If you have any tips for determining the right cornstarch-to-filling ratio for pies, please do let me know!

Pear Dulce de Leche Pie (adapted from The Cooking Photographer and Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours)
Makes one 9½ inch pie

2 batches of Dorie’s Good For Everything Pie Dough (note: you can double the quantities of each ingredient in this dough recipe, then divide the dough into two and refrigerate, well-wrapped, for at least an hour before using)

5 Bartlett pears (about 2½ pounds/ 1 kg), peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
¼ cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup dulce de leche

Preheat the oven to 425F/ 220C.

Butter a pie dish then roll out the dough base, trimming the dough to leave a ½-inch overhang over the sides of the pie plate. Refrigerate the dish for at least 20 minutes before using.

Mix the sugar, cornstarch and lemon zest, set aside. In a large bowl, toss the pears with the lemon juice, vanilla extract and dulce de leche with both hands until each cube of pear is thoroughly coated with a thick and velvety dulce de leche and juice mixture. Add the dry ingredients and toss to mix. Leave aside to rest for at least 5 minutes before assembling the pie for baking.

While the filling is sitting, prepare the top crust. Roll out the dough until just a quarter inch thick on a well-floured surface.

Remove the pie dish from the refrigerator and add the filling, then gently transfer the top crust to the pie, trimming the rim of any excess dough. With a few drops of water, press the top and bottom crusts together, folding the two doughs on itself, either wrapping the bottom crust over the top or vice versa. If you like, you could use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges of the plate for a decorative touch.

Cut a few slits on the top of the dough for ventilation, and drizzle some granulated sugar over the top if you wish.

Place the pie dish on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 375F/ 190C and cook for another 50 to 60 minutes. The pie is ready when the top crust is golden brown and the juices bubble through the crust. If the top crust browns too quickly after 30 to 40 minutes, cover it loosely with some foil.

When ready, leave the pie to cool over a rack until just warm or at room temperature before serving.

Pear Pie 06

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show hide 44 comments

savorysimple - Lovely photos, looks delicious!

VeggieGirl - STELLAR result!

Divina - I’m just loving this pie with the addition of dulce de leche. Great photos.

Miriam/El invitado de invierno - Awesome recipe and photos!

El - I love that top picture of pie. Fantastic!

Ana - From Argentina…there is nothing better than dulce de leche!!!!
and if you want to say something sweet to your love, you can say:
“después del dulce de leche, el invento mas dulce fuiste vos” (after dulce de leche, you were the most sweet design”.


Rose - Mmmm dulce de leche & pear?! Sounds wonderful!!!!

TinyMorsel - Oh my god, this looks incredibly tasty. What a great idea to combine these two yummy things.

drowme - Delicious!

cmitten - Wow, that looks great!

paulwmitchel - That is one pretty pie! Im going to try it soon!

Felicia - gosh! i LOVE dulce de leche. soooooo sweet and so tasty.
is that how you make it?! pressure-cook condensed milk! wow!

awesome as usual, Danielle. you’ve set the bar high!

Kweli - So yummy!

guitarra pirata - bliss.

vravier - Good pictures and of course an EXCELLENT COMBINATION. I love pears as well as Dulce de Leche. I’ll definitely try !!!!!!

kreme42 - Gorgeous photos – I love pears and all I ever find are poaching recipes.
This is beautiful looking – can’t wait to try it.

New fan.

Mike - 1/3 of a cup of cornstarch sounds like a lot. A couple tablespoons could be enough. Personally I would substitute flour for the cornstarch.

psychologist1 - i do not like pears much but the cake itself looks delicious. maybe it is possible to use apples instead of pears or something? it would be wonderful!

ovenhaven - I don’t even like pears, but you’ve got me drooling over this!

James - So good with pears! I’ve just started doing an apple version for a local restaurant.

gim - WoW!!!!!!!! That looks so yamy!
Actually, that lovely pie looks like a mung-bean pancake-a Korean traditional pizza!

Danielle - Ana, thanks for sharing, I’m looking forward to sampling the “real” dulce de leche in South America one day. And I’ll keep this line in mind – it’s so endearing ;)

Danielle - Yes that’s what I thought too, but looking at the amount of juice that leaked as the pie was baking, I’m thinking that 1/3 cup might not be that excessive after all. I’m going to have to test out the proportions though since I realized my omission when the pie was in the oven.

I guess you could use flour in combination with cornstarch and tapioca flour (as suggested on this site: but I have yet to see a recipe where its used on its own as a thickener. Dorie Greenspan’s pie recipes feature tapioca starch as a thickener, which you could consider too.

Danielle - You could definitely replace pears with apples, in fact the original recipe that inspired this combination used apples:

Jenny - Pearfection!!!!

The Purple Foodie - I’m intrigued by the pear and dulce de leche combination. Looks so stunning!

akp - i was planning on making pear crisp for dessert tonight, and i love the idea of combining pear with dulce de leche – so i’m going to serve some with my crisp! thanks for the idea!

CakeSpy - This looks amazing–what a great flavor combination idea!

Lucy - Oh my gosh I adore this way of using dulce de leche! It is so utterly delicious and I can imagine being glorious with pears + pie! Yum.

beckarie - Yum! I’ve never thought to pair pear and dulce de leche! But now I can’t wait to make this pie! THANKS for sharing!

Heathen - I made this yesterday and it was amazingly awesome! Thank you for such a delish recipe!

Plant Based Diet - The pie looks amazing!

uberVU – social comments - Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by divinape: RT @istelleinad [New Post] Pear Dulce de Leche Pie….everyone now, “mmmmmmm!” triple mmmmmmmmmmmmm!…

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