Topped with a classic flaky pie crust, one bite of these Mini Chai Spiced Pear Pies and it’s like fall appeared in your kitchen.
Confession, I love tiny desserts. Who can resist a cute, sweet, little treat that makes you feel like it’s better for you because it’s smaller than its regular-sized counterpart? I also share a strong fondness for all things cast iron. My family has been cooking on cast iron since the days they migrated to America as sheepherders in the 1880s, and these trusty kitchen companions have always held a special place in my heart. So, it makes perfect sense to combine those loves into these tasty Mini Chai Spiced Pear Pies.
We are also commercial pear growers, so this tasty treat is a perfect trifecta in my books! A mini dessert, cooked in cast iron and made with pear. If you love pears as much as I do, be sure to check out my other delicious pear recipes: Pear Pecan Muffins with Oat Pecan Crumble, Bourbon Pear Pie with Oat Pecan Crumble and Browned Butter Spiced Pear Bundt Cake with Apple Cider Glaze.
I started with ripe, but firm, pears and immersed them in chai-inspired spices, including a pinch of black pepper that gives these mini pies a little kick. Topped with a classic flaky pie crust, one bite of these Mini Chai Spiced Pear Pies and it’s like fall appeared in your kitchen.
If you're like me and love fall baking, be sure to check out my other fall desserts.
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Mini Chai Spiced Pear Pies
Topped with a classic flaky pie crust, one bite of these Mini Chai-Spiced Pear Pies and it’s like fall appeared in your kitchen.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 35
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 5 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- 1 Pie Crust Recipe
- 8 cups pears peeled, cored, and diced (6-7 firm, but ripe pears)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
- Coarse sugar for sprinkling
- Prepare pie crust recipe through step 4. Instead of cutting the dough in half, form dough into one big disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- In a large bowl, stir the pears, lemon juice, flour, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, black pepper, sugar, and vanilla extract together until thoroughly combined. Set aside for 20 minutes to allow the mixture to macerate.
- Next, evenly divide the pear filling mixture among the 3.5" mini cast iron skillets.
- Roll out chilled pie dough disc on a lightly floured work surface until dough is about ⅛” thick. Using a mini cast iron skillet as a guide, lightly place the skillet upside down on the dough and cut around it with a paring knife so that each dough circle is about ½ inch larger than the mini skillet. Repeat until you have 5 dough discs.
- Carefully lay the dough over the filling, tuck the ½ inch of dough under itself, creating a clean edge flush with the top of the mini cast iron skillet and crimp edges. Cut slits in the top of the crust to form steam vents.
- Place the pies in the freezer for about 15 minutes before baking. This will help ensure that your crust holds its shape in the oven.
- Take the pies out of the freezer, brush with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Place skillets onto a cookie sheet for baking and into the oven for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbles.
- Allow the pies to cool for 3 hours at room temperature before serving. This time allows the filling to thicken up. Cover pie leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I loosely place foil around the edges of the pie to create a pie shield and to prevent the edges from browning too quickly.
Keywords: pie, pear, cast iron