Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pear Crisp

One of Andy's co-workers sent him home with a bag full of pears and plums (Italian prune plums) a couple weeks ago. She was hoping I'd pull together a couple of dishes Andy could bring to work for them to snack on. As it was late at night, I went with a dish I knew, my plum galette, but for the pears, I wanted to make a pear crisp that I'd seen a recipe for in my CSA box earlier in the week. I whipped up the dishes, he took them to work, and they were a hit. Yea!

Andy went on and on about the pear crisp, so I had a few leftover pears still in the fridge, so I made one for us today. My oh my, this is hands-down, the best pear crisp I've ever had. I'm not sure if it's the toasted walnuts, the fairly stiff insides of the crisp, or the taste of Fall on a spoon, but it was wonderful! I served ours with a scoop of Island Coconut ice cream. Yum, um, um, um, yum! I can't wait to try this same crisp recipe with apples.

Pear Crisp

Crisp topping:
1/2 cup walnuts or almonds
1 cup AP flour
3 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs granulated sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
A pinch of salt
6 tbs unsalted butter

6 ripe, but firm pears (about 2 lbs), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbs flour

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. For the crisp topping, toast the nuts until fragrant, about 7-8 minutes, then chop them medium-fine. Set aside. Combine the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces. Work it into the flour mixture with your fingers until crumbly. Add the chopped nuts and mix well - topping ingredients should hold together when squeezed.

2. For the filling, put diced pears in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and taste; adjust if necessary. Sprinkle flour over the pears and mix gently. Turn the mixture into an earthenware dish just large enough to hold the fruit, slightly mounded at the center. Spoon the topping over the pears, pressing down lightly. Place the dish on a baking sheet to catch any overflow and bake on the center rack of the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the topping is dark golden brown and the juices have thickened slightly. Serve warm with ice cream.

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