Brown butter is a cook’s best friend—it adds richness and depth of flavor to any food it touches. And, thankfully, it’s easy to make. Simply melt butter over medium heat until it smells nutty, and well, delicious. What you’re actually doing is toasting the milk solids that are inside butter, and those are what give brown butter its name. Here, tossed with pears, apples, and vanilla, you get something wonderfully sophisticated and not overly sweet—perfect for impressing guests. If you want to go the extra mile, serve with creme fraiche or lightly-sweetened mascarpone.
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2½ pounds pears (about 5), peeled, cored, and chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in lowest position. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, swirling until golden and nutty smelling, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour into a bowl and let cool.
Toss pears, apples, flour, vanilla, salt, brown butter, and ¼ cup sugar in a large bowl.
Roll out one disk of piecrust on a lightly floured work surface to about 14 inches in diameter. Place in a 9-inch pie plate; trim dough to a 1-inch overhang. Fill crust with pear mixture. Roll out remaining disk to about 12 inches in diameter and lay over pears. Fold top edge over and tuck under bottom edge; crimp edge as desired. Cut a few vents in the top and brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon more sugar and freeze for 15 minutes.
Bake on bottom rack until deep golden brown and juices start bubbling through the cracks, 60 to 75 minutes. Let cool for at least 4 hours before slicing.
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