Making Caged Pears (Poires en Cage)

Pears are far too dangerous to be allowed to roam freely, hence the need for this ingenious preparation, which ensures that your pears will remain where they belong: confined behind the buttery bars of a puff pastry lattice. For goodness’ sake don’t go sticking your fingers in there! What goes into that cage may not come out! Still if you’re the kind of baker who craves deliciousness and doesn’t mind working around savage fruit, then poires en cage may be for you.

The only unusual piece of equipment you’re going to need for this is a lattice cutter. They’re cheap and easily obtainable online. Once you learn to use one you’ll find plenty of excuses to use it on other things like pies and tarts. Start by assembling your ingredients. I highly recommend using homemade puff pastry, especially imperfect homemade puff pastry since we’re not looking for a dramatic rise here. We want a cage that’s light, crispy and buttery but not extremely puffy. If the pastry is too airy the cage won’t have any strength and that’s just the sort of opportunity a feral pear is looking for. You don’t want one of those things breaking free and going on a rampage during an elegant dinner party, oh no sirree.


Caged Pears (Poires en Cage) Recipe

Pears in a cage make a stunning closer to an autumn meal. They’re light but full of flavor, especially if you take the extra step of filling the pear with a little bit of almond cream (talk about gilding the lily, it’s a luscious surprise inside an already impressive dessert). You’ll need:

6 poached pear halves
about 10 ounces puff pastry
2-3 ounces almond cream (optional)
egg wash