4large ripe pears, cut into quarters lengthwise and cored
Pie dough for a 9-inch pie, chilled
Preheat oven to 400F.
Heat a 9- or 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add butter, maple syrup, sugar and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Working with 1 quarter at a time, place pear pieces on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice each into 3 or 4 sections, leaving one end intact. Fan out sections and place in pan, skin side up. (Don’t worry it they break apart.) Fill in any gaps with individual sections of pears to form a compact layer.
Roll pie dough on lightly floured wax paper until slightly larger than your pan. Drape over fruit, tucking edges down along the inside of the pan. Cut three or four steam vents in the crust.
Bake 25 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375F and continue baking 20 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a spoon. Serves 8.