Sweet Brie & Cider Pear Pie

Baking, Behind the Scenes, Cook, Williams-Sonoma Behind the Scenes

Sweet Brie & Cider Pear Pie

Submitted by: Georgia W.


For the Hazelnut Crust:

3 ounces pastry flour

1 ounce hazelnut meal (Bob’s Red Mill)

.33 ounces granulated sugar

2.7 ounces butter (cold)

Pinch of salt

Ice water, as needed


For the Sweet Brie Layer:

8 ounces organic brie cheese (without the rind)

2.6 ounces granulated sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

1/4 tsp. Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract


For the Salted Caramel Layer:

3 ounces granulated sugar

1 ounce water

.3 ounces butter, cut into four pieces

1.7 ounces heavy cream, warmed

Sea salt, to taste


White Wine & Cider Poached Pears:

12 ounces Pinot Grigio white wine

12 ounces fresh apple cider (I used cider from my local farm stand)

2 Bosc pears, peeled, halved and cored


For the Streusel Topping:

1 ounce melted butter

1.3 ounces brown sugar

.85 ounces pastry glour

.75 ounces rolled oats

.75 ounces rolled oats


For the Hazelnut Crust: Place flour, salt, sugar and butter in a clean surface. Using a bench scraper, chop the butter into the flour mixture; keep chopping until the butter is very fine. Make a well in the mixture and pour in a small amount of water. Fold and chop the water in. Repeat this process until the dough just comes together — it should not be too wet. Wrap with plastic wrap and flatten into a disc. Place in the refrigerator for at least two hours prior to use.


For the Sweet Brie Layer: In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the brie until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, and scrape down the sides. Add the egg, then the remaining ingredients. Scrape down and mix on medium speed to remove the lumps. If lumps remain, strain the mixture.


For the Salted Caramel Layer: Heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Use a clean pastry brush and water to brush the sides of the pan every few minutes to prevent crystallization. In 5 to 7 minutes, the sugar mixture should start to turn amber. When it turns a deep amber, whisk in the butter then the warmed heavy cream. Make sure you don’t burn the mixture! Let cool.


For the White Wine & Cider Poached Pears: Heat the wine and cider in a medium saucepan. When it boils, add the pears and lower the heat just a bit. Place a cheesecloth on top and let simmer for 30 minutes (give or take). Check every so often to see if they’re done by poking each pear half with a fork. If the fork goes in without resistance, the pears are done. Do not let them turn to mush. If not using right away, store in a container with enough poaching liquid to cover the pears.


For the Streusel Topping: Combine all dry ingredients, then pour melted butter on top. Mix with a fork until all combined.


To Assemble the Pie: Blind bake the pie shell. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick and so that it fits the 9 inch pie tin. Transfer to the tin and cut the dough right along the edge. Dock the bottom, then place in the freezer for half an hour or so to relax the gluten. Roll out the excess dough and use a leaf cutter to cut leaf shapes. Set aside.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the pie shell until just starting to get some color. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Drop the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.


Fill the slightly cooled pie shell with the brie batter. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and place leaf details around the border. Overlap just slightly. Put back in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, until the leaves have a slight color and the brie filling is set and golden. Remove from oven and let cool.


When the caramel is still warm, pour it onto the brie layer. Smooth it out to cover the surface. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt on top, evenly.


Remove pears from poaching liquid and slice lengthwise, into 1/4 inch pieces. Spread the slices out a bit and arrange them in a round on top of the caramel — it should reach the outer edge but leave a circle of space in the middle. You may not use all of the pear slices.


Place the streusel topping in the empty center, piling it a bit. If you’d like, you can use a torch to give the topping some color, or can leave it as is. Enjoy! Makes one 9-inch pie.

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