We are always looking for easy and quick desserts around the holidays. These Personal Pear Pies are perfect. We love that they have so few ingredients – most of which you probably already have on hand. But more than that we love them because they are delicious.
This recipe helps develop peeling and measuring skills and is a great introduction to rolling dough.
At the bottom of the post you will find a printable version of the recipe and a detailed, printable, lesson plan with additional talking points.
Before you begin
Make sure you have the ingredients and supplies you'll need.
Pie crust (1 pound)
Flour (2 – 3 tablespoons)
Pears (4 – 5 small)
Turbinado sugar (1 tablespoon - you could use brown sugar)
Cinnamon (½ teaspoon)
Unsalted butter (½ stick)
Heavy cream (½ pint)
Small bowl for egg wash
Glass measuring cup (for liquids)
1/3 cup dry measuring cup
Wooden spoon for mixing the sauce over stove
step by step
pick pears that are ripe enough to eat fresh
Set oven to 375 degrees, include your child in this step.
Demonstrate how to pick up a peeler by the handle so that your child doesn't touch the blade. Show where the sharp parts of the peeler are and demonstrate how to peel a pear. Tip: Hold the pear by the stem and peel away from fingers. Pears can be tricky to peel as they can be slippery – you will need to be patient and may need to peel together. Kids can eat the peels – don’t let them go to waste!
Cut the pears in half lengthwise. Remove and discard the seeds using a small measuring spoon. Set the pears aside in a bowl.
Grab a pinch of the flour and sprinkle it on a dry cutting board. Put the dough on the board. Show your child how to roll the dough to about ½ inch thickness, wide enough for 8 pear halves to fit on the dough with about 1 inch on all sides. Tip: place the rolling pin in the center of the dough and roll upwards, then bring back to the center and roll downwards. Try to keep the dough in a shape of a square or rectangle.
Cut pie crust into 8 pieces, slightly larger than the size of a ½ pear. Have your child place one pear half (flat-side down) in the center of each dough piece.
Together, roll the edges of dough up and around the first pear to create a pear-shaped crust and stem (leaving rounded part of the pear, exposed). Assist your child as they do the others.
Cut off a small portion of the extra gathering of dough at the bottom of each pear. Give your child a small piece and have them shape it into a leaf. Attach the leaf to the top of the pear onto the dough stem.
Transfer the pies gently to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Help your child crack the egg into a bowl (we find that children as young as three and four years old can crack an egg once given the chance to practice).
Measure out 1 tablespoon of milk and add it to the bowl. Tip: Have your child look at and read the measurement on the spoon. Beat with a fork and then, using a basting brush, have your child “paint” the pears (fruit and crust) with the egg wash.
Show your child how to pinch a bit of turbinado sugar and sprinkle the first pear. Have them do the remainder and then the same with the cinnamon.
Place the pears in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.
The caramel sauce is optional. The pies will be delicious without it, but if you’re up to it, you can make it when the pies are in the oven. Place all of the ingredients for the sauce in a small sauce pan and melt over medium heat. Have your child help you to measure out the ingredients. Lower the heat and cook for another 10 minutes until it thickens. Let cool.
Drizzle pies with 1 teaspoon caramel sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Homemade is always best, but for this lesson we chose store bought for ease. Trader Joe’s crust is easy to work with. If you are looking for an organic option, we recommend Wholly Wholesome. Don’t forget to thaw in advance!
If the pears that you have or are planning to purchase are not ripe yet, store them outside the fridge in a paper bag for a day or two.
Peel, halve and core pears, leaving only the number that you would like your child to peel. For example, if your child is older – you might have him peel and prep all the pears. If your child is younger, it might be best to leave just one for your child to peel.