- Preheat the oven to 375° F. When the oven has preheated, bake the unfilled pie crust by following the instructions on the package. Make sure to cover the edges with foil to avoid over-browning the crust. Once done, remove the foil from the edges, set aside, and turn the oven down to 350° F.
- In a medium bowl, toss the diced pears with lemon juice.
- Transfer pears to a skillet over medium-high heat, add water, and cook for 8 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. If the pears are firm and under-ripe, cover the pan with a lid while cooking.
- While the pears are cooking, in a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients (sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and tapioca flour) and stir to combine. Set aside until the pears have cooked. Once the pears are done, sprinkle the dry ingredients over the pears, toss and stir to coat the pears well, and then turn the heat off.
- Make the crumb topping: Cut the butter into the tapioca flour with a fork (mashing the butter and flour together until well combined), then add the sugar, oats, cinnamon, and salt. Use the fork to mix all of the ingredients together.
- Fill the prepared pie crust with the pear mixture and top with the crumb topping. Use your fingers to gently press the crumb topping down.
- Place the pie on a baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. If it starts to brown too quickly, cover the edges of the crust with foil again.
- While the pie is baking make the salted caramel sauce by heating the sugar in a medium to large saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high-heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
- The sugar will form clumps at first, but after 8-10 minutes it will melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. To prevent burning the sugar do not stop stirring.
- Once the sugar is completely melted, reduce the heat to low, and immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
- Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, 2-3 minutes. A whisk helps if you find the butter is separating from the sugar.
- Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of coconut milk while stirring. Use caution because the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when it is added. Take care to avoid burning yourself and lift the saucepan off the heat as needed to reduce splatter/bubbling.
- Once combined, allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
- Remove from the heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool then transfer to a jar with a lid for storage. You will have leftover caramel sauce to use for other desserts. The caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks or in the freezer for up to six months.
- When the pie is done, remove from the oven and let cool. Drizzle each slice with 1-2 teaspoons of the salted caramel sauce just before serving.
Make ahead tip: You can make the pie and the caramel sauce in advance. The pie is good served warm or at room temperature. The caramel sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. When serving, if the caramel is too thick to drizzle, warm it up for a few seconds before using in a recipe. This caramel is OK at room temperature for a day if you're traveling or gifting it.
Source: Karen Falbo
Tips for What to Do with Excess Ingredients: Butter can be used to cook with and for baking. Coconut sugar can be used for baking or in anything that requires a sweetener. Coconut milk can be used for smoothies, soups, or curry dishes.