Project Description

Caramelized Pears with Chai-Maple Syrup Dumplings



  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 2 cups boiling water 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter 
  • 3 small firm-ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled, quartered, and cored 
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (such as Pillsbury) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 
  • 1/2 cup whole milk 
  • 1 large egg


  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving 
  • 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped


  1. Make the pears: Place chai tea bags in a heatproof bowl, and add 2 cups boiling water. Let steep 5 minutes; remove tea bags. Set chai aside.

  2. Heat a deep 10-inch skillet over medium. Add butter; cook until butter melts. Add pears, cut sides down, and cook until caramelized and starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Flip pears; cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and reserved chai; stir until combined. Spoon 1/3 cup syrup into a small bowl, and set aside. Turn off heat.

  3. Make the dumplings: Stir together flour and cinnamon in a bowl; add butter. Using your fingers, rub butter into flour until mixture has a coarse, sandy consistency.

  4. Whisk milk and egg until combined. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture, and stir until just combined. (Dough will be wet. Do not over mix.)

  5. Return syrup mixture to a boil over medium-high. Using a large spoon, drop golf ball–size dumplings into pan on top of caramelized pears (you should have 8 to 10 dumplings). Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently until dumplings are puffed up and a skewer inserted in center of dumplings comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

  6. Invert 1 or 2 dumplings into each of 4 small bowls; top evenly with pears, ice cream, and hazelnuts. Drizzle with reserved 1/3 cup syrup, and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine