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Inverted Spiced Pear Pie

We're en route to Williamsburg, where we'll taste this pie with friends.  It's butter, sugar and spices with pears on top with pecans, then sautéed to caramelize, then cooled and covered and tucked with pie crust dough, then baked at 425F until the pie crust is done. 

Easy enough...But then flipping over the cooled but still hot sauté pan onto a paper plate, cut to fit inside the pan, and catching the pie and getting  the whole thing out in one piece without getting burned, proved tricky.  More  after the tasting.

We're back and everyone liked the pie, so I baked another one today for recipe purposes.

Here's how:
Inverted Spiced Pear Pie
See Abbreviations, if needed
5T      butter
2/3C   sugar
Spices:  (see note)
     1/4t each of medium hot chile powder, ground cumin and turmeric powder
            a pinch  of cayenne and 8 whole cloves
5         Bosc or red pears, ripe, cored, halved and peeled
1/3C   chopped pecans, toasted
1         9" pie crust, ambient

1.  In a small sauce pan, melt the butter, add the sugar, and bring to simmer
2.  Add the spices and continue to simmer, about 5 minutes total
3.  Butter a 9 or 10 inch non-stick, oven proof, sauté pan (I know it's non-stick but butter it anyhow)
4.  Pour all the butter-sugar-spice mixture into the sauté pan and keep warm
5.  Core, half and peel the pears and arrange them in the sauté pan, as shown
6.  Top the pears with the pecans

7.  Bring the pan to boil, reduce heat to a brisk simmer and cook the butter-sugar-spice mixture until the sugar begins to caramelize (320F) and turn golden in color, about 14 minutes,as shown--do not stir
8.  Remove the pear pan to a rack and let cool enough to handle
9.  Roll out the pie crust to over fit the pear pan by an inch or more
10.  Lay the crust over the pears in the pan and tuck the edges in and around the pears and downward toward the bottom of the pan
11. Bake the pie in a preheated oven at 425F until the crust begins to brown, about 25 minutes or about 20 minutes convection
12.  Rack the pan and let cool for about 5 minutes
13.  Trim a paper plate to just fit inside the sauté pan (If you have a serving plate that fits, use that)
14.  Using a towel or mitts for protection, invert the pear pan onto the fitted plate and immediately rest it all 
       (pan, pie and paper plate) on a counter top. Give the pears and syrup a little time to fall out of the sauté pan
15.  Lift off the pan.  If any pears or dough are stuck to it, neatly remove them and put them back into the pie
16.  Transfer the pie from the paper plate to a serving plate, if desired

Note:  If these spices are not to your liking , substitute a more traditional selection of nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper.


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