Brown Butter and Vanilla Pear Pie


Classic fall flavors—pears, apples, and vanilla—combine with brown butter for a delightful pie.

Brown Butter and Vanilla Pear Pie on Black Tablecloth With Metal Forks for Serving
Photo: Johnny Miller
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
8 servings

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. Just melt the butter over medium heat until it smells nutty and delicious. What you’re doing is toasting the milk solids that are inside butter, and those are what give brown butter its name.

In this recipe, 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

  • 2 ½ 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

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling

  • 2 disks Basic Piecrust

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


  1. 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.

  2. Toss pears, apples, flour, vanilla, salt, brown butter, and ¼ cup sugar in a large bowl.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

593 Calories
36g Fat
65g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 593
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 22g 109%
Cholesterol 114mg 38%
Sodium 330mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 65g 24%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 6g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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