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Top view of brown butter pear pandowdy with three scoops of vanilla ice cream on top in a cast iron skillet.

Brown Butter Pear Pandowdy

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: pie
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: fall


This warm and cozy fall dessert is simple to make and is perfect for Thanksgiving. Sweet, in-season pears are baked with cinnamon and sugar and a buttery, caramelized puff pastry crust. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving or any other chilly fall evening. 


  • 4 lbs Bartlett pears, cored and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed but cold, cut into 12 rectangles
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water
  • Coarse or granulated sugar for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • vanilla ice cream for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine pears, orange zest, orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, dark brown sugar and flour in a large bowl.
  3. Melt butter in a 10-inch oven-proof skillet and cook until it turns brown and smells nutty. Pour into the pear mixture and toss to combine, then transfer back to the skillet.
  4. Arrange the puff pastry squares over the top to cover most, but not all of the filling. It’s okay for parts of the pear mixture to poke through. Brush the pastry with egg wash, then sprinkle lightly with coarse or granulated sugar.
  5. Bake until puffed and golden, about 30 minutes. Pour heavy cream all over, then return to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, then use a spoon to press the pieces of puff pastry down so the juices ooze over top. Place back in the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the crust is crisp and very dark brown.
  6. Let cool, then serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Keywords: pie, apple, fall, thanksgiving, dessert