Pear Pie In A Jar is a fun twist on traditional pie. These cute mini pear pies in glass jars make great gifts, or desserts for the holidays!
Ever since I made this Red Velvet Cake In A Jar earlier this year, I’ve been dying to bust out my mini jars and stuff them with more desserts. There is something so satisfying about a self-contained single serving dessert, and the fact that the jars are easy to decorate and give as gifts makes them approximately 73% more adorable. Don’t be surprised if you see these jars come back again and again, because I am officially ready to go steady with mini jars, and I don’t care who knows it.
For this go-round, I decided to go with some seasonal autumnal flavors and made Salted Caramel Pear Mini Pies. I used a store-bought pie crust (I will defend Trader Joe’s all-butter crust with my last breath, come at me!) and store-bought caramel sauce, so although they’re still a bit time intensive because you’re making 8 pies instead of one, the shortcuts do help cut down on the prep.
Each jar is lined with a veeeeeery thin layer of pie crust. I found the thin crust was a necessity in getting it to cook all the way through and get a little crispy. A thick crust just results in a soggy layer of dough lining the walls of your pan, and ain’t nobody here for that. After the jars are lined, they’re filled with the baked and cooled filling, then topped with—my favorite part—an adorable weensy pie crust with a heart cut-out. Or, if you hate love and life and all things good, a boring circle. Whatever.
Needless to say, you’re going to need to use glass jars, because these babies are baked in the oven, so find some cute mini mason jars or pick up these glass ones that I used.
The tops puffed up beautifully and, after tying a ribbon around the cooled pies, I was completely enchanted with how they turned out. These would make SUCH a cute gift for the holidays, or a dessert around Thanksgiving time! You can also make them advance and freeze them once they’re fully assembled. I would let them defrost a bit before popping them in the oven, so the sudden temperature shift doesn’t damage the glass, but otherwise, this is a great make-ahead dessert.
You’re not limited to pear—you can use any fruit filling that you like in this recipe! They’re not in the oven long enough to really cook some harder fruits all the way through, so for pear and apple pies, I recommend using a pre-cooked filling for the best results.
Here’s how I recommend you eat them: let them cool off until they’re warm but not hot, then dive in and munch on that gorgeous, buttery crust on top. Once you’ve removed some of the upper crust, add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream directly in the jar, let it melt for a minute, then GO TO TOWN devouring that warm caramel-pear filling, flaky crust, and melting ice cream.
- 3.5 lbs fresh pears (about 7 large)
- 2 TBSP butter
- 2 TBSP cornstarch
- 2 TBSP cold water
- ½ cup salted caramel sauce
- 2-3 TBSP brown sugar
- 2 frozen pie crusts (the type you unroll)
- 8 4-oz glass jars
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Granulated sugar
- Peel the pears, core them, and chop them into ½-inch cubes.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the pears. Whisk together the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl, until there are no lumps of starch, then add the corn starch mixture, caramel sauce, and brown sugar to the pears. Simmer everything for about 20 minutes, until the pears soften, take on a light caramel color, and the liquid reduces to a thick syrup. Cool the filling completely before assembling the pies. The pear mixture can be spread out on a baking sheet and placed in the refrigerator to speed the chilling process, if desired.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- To assemble the pies, follow the pie crust instructions for defrosting and unrolling the crusts. My jars were tall and narrow, and I found it easiest to roll one crust very thin, and cut it into wide vertical strips. Cut a strip into rectangles, and press one rectangle all the way around the inside of the jar, pressing the crust even thinner as you place it in the jar. Cut out a circle of dough and press it into the bottom of the jar, sealing it to the edges of the sides so that the entire inside of the jar is covered with crust. Repeat until all of the jars have an inner crust layer.
- Fill the jars with the cooled pie filling. I used about 4 oz of filling for each pie. If you have extra left over, reserve it for later.
- Unroll the second crust and use a large round cutter to cut out circles of dough about 2 inches wider than the top of the jars. Cut a heart shape (or other shape) from the center of each circle. Brush a bit of beaten egg on the dough that’s at the top of the jar, and press the circle of dough on top, sealing them together. Crimp the edges, then brush the top with more beaten egg and sprinkle granulated sugar on top.
- Place the pie jars on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. Bake the pies for about 40-45 minutes, until the tops are puffed, golden brown, and the filling is visibly bubbling. If the top crusts seem to be getting too brown, cover them loosely with tented foil.
- Let the pies cool unti lthey’re warm but not hot before serving. If you have extra pear filling, you can use it to “top up” the pies, since the filling will shrink down after baking, leaving a hole between the crust and filling.
- Serve the pies with ice cream or whipped cream, and caramel sauce.