Apple Pear Caramel Praline Pie

Jenell Parsons and THE U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
September 08, 2016
Written by Jenell Parsons and THE U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Photo credit: Joann Pai @sliceofpai
Photo credit: Joann Pai @sliceofpai
Apple Pear Caramel Praline PieCombining the best of the fall harvest fruits with pure sweetness and a bit of crunch, this recipe comes to us courtesy of Jenell Parsons of The Pie Hole in Vancouver.

  • Granny apples (peeled & thinly sliced) -   3
  • Gala apples (peeled & thinly sliced) -   2
  • Bartlett Pears (Peeled & thinly sliced) -   2
  • Unbleached AP flour -   3 tbsp
  • Brown Sugar  -  3/4 cup
  • Vanilla  -  1 tsp
  • Cinnamon  -  1/2 tsp
  • Nutmeg  -  pinch
  • Salt -   pinch
Praline Layer
  • Butter (cubed)  -  1/4 cup
  • Brown sugar  -  1/2 cup
  • Unbleached AP flour  -  1/2 cup
  • Rolled oats  -  1/3
  • Pecans, coarsely chopped  -  1/4 cup
Caramel Sauce
  • White sugar  - 1 cup
  • Water  -  1/4 cup
  • White corn syrup  -  1 tsp
  • Heavy cream  -  1/2 cup
  • Vanilla  -  1 tbsp
  • Salt  -  1/2 tsp
  1. Combine the apples and pears in a bowl with all of the ingredients. Mix very well to evenly coat the slices. Mix until mixture appears a little wet.
  2. Put apple mixture into prepared pie shell.
  3. Make the praline layer by combining the first three ingredients in a mixing bowl and using a pastry knife or clean hands mix until you achieve an even crumbly texture.
  4. Add the oats and pecans and mix throughout.
  5. Sprinkle a good handful of the praline mixture over the apple/pears in the pie.
  6. Make the caramel sauce (can be made ahead and stored in a jar). In a large sauce pan add the sugar, water and corn syrup and bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk until sugar has completely dissolved.
  7. Allow for mixture to boil for 10 minutes or until it turns a beautiful caramel colour.  To prevent crystallization try to keep the sauce from going up the sides of the pan.
  8. Once the sauce is a rich caramel colour reduce heat to low. Slowly add the cream. Stir and add the vanilla and salt.
  9. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. It will bubble up . Sauce will thicken as it cooks (1-2 minutes).
  10. Allow sauce to cool to room temp and then pour 1/4-cup over the praline layer.
  11. Take the full top crust and gently place over the pie. Seal the edges by pinching and finishing .
  12. Evenly and completely egg wash the entire top. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and a little sprinkle of the praline mixture. Pierce with several one-inch vent holes.
  13. Bake at 350 F until juices thickly begin to bubble out the vent holes. Approximately 45-60 mins. Deep dish pie plates or ceramic/glad plates will require slightly longer cooking times.
  14. Cool completely and enjoy!

Blueberry-Nectarine Crostata

A crostata is a traditional Italian baked tart or pie. And while the domestic blueberry season comes to an end in October, there is always a ready supply of the healthy berries around. And mixing blueberries with ripe nectarines makes for a flavourful dessert on a baked pastry crust. This recipe is courtesy of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

  • All-purpose flour - 2-1/4 cups
  • Sugar - 1/4 cup
  • Ground cardamom - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Unsalted butter - 1-1/2 sticks (about 6 oz)
  • Cold water - 3-1/2 to 4 tbsp
  • Amaretti Cookie Crumbs -  6 tbsp
  • Blueberries - 1 pint
  • Ripe nectarines, diced - 2 cups
  • Sugar - 3 tbsp
  • Cornstarch - 2 tbsp
  • Egg (beaten with cream) - 1 yolk
  • Heavy cream - 1 tbsp
  • Coarse raw sugar - 6 tsp
 YIELD: 6 servings

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, cardamom and salt in a processor. Pulse to combine.
  2. Add butter and pulse to pea size.
  3. Sprinkle 3 tbsp water over flour; process three to four seconds until starting to come together (if dough looks very sandy, add water and pulse a few more times until clumping but slightly loose).
  4. Turn out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Bring wrap up and cover top of dough; press to form seven-inch disk. Chill until cold.
  5. Divide dough into six equal pieces. Roll out on lightly floured board to form 1/8-inch thick circles approximately 5-inches in diameter.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; transfer circles to sheet. Spoon cookie crumbs into center of circles.
  7. In a large bowl, gently toss blueberries, nectarines, sugar and cornstarch.
  8.     Mound fruit evenly in center of each circle, leaving a one-inch border around edge. Bring pastry up and over filling just to form a one-inch border. Brush pastry lightly with egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar. Chill until cold.
  9. Position oven rack in lower third of oven; heat to 425 F. Bake crostata 35 minutes until center lightly bubbles and crust is deep golden.
  10. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm with gelato or lightly sweetened whipped cream.


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