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Pear & Brown Sugar Crisp

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Serves six.

  • by Frank McClelland from Fine Cooking
    Issue 23

My grandmother would add a tablespoon or so of bourbon to her pear crisp filling. She called the addition “a little flavoring.”

For the topping:
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats (instant or old-fashioned oatmeal)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • Pinch salt
For the pear filling:
  • 3 lb. pears (about 6 large) such as Bosc or Bartlett, peeled, halved, and cored
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 4-1/2 tsp. cornstarch
Make the topping:

In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, oats, brown sugar, and salt; pulse until the mixture starts to hold together. Set aside.

Make the filling:

Heat the oven to 350°F. Cut the pears into pieces about 1 inch long by 1/2 inch thick. In a large bowl, mix the pears, lemon juice, vanilla, 1/3 cup of the sugar, the cinnamon, cloves, and cornstarch; toss to combine. Taste and add more sugar if you like.

Bake the crisp:

Pour the pear mixture into an 11x7 inch ovenproof baking dish or into individual ramekins. Cover with the topping. Turn the oven down to 325°F and bake the crisp until the top is golden brown and the pears are tender, 70 to 80 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 420; Fat (g): 11; Fat Calories (kcal): 100; Saturated Fat (g): 6; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): 80; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 150; Cholesterol (mg): 25; Fiber (g): 7;

Photo: Ben Fink

A lovely autumn recipe.

We have two large pear trees and I'm always looking for pear recipes. This is a relatively simple and delicious recipe. I say relatively because preparing the fresh pears is what takes the time. The only change I made was I didn't use a food processor for the topping, but I merely stirred it and "sprinkled" (thick sprinkles) over the top. This recipe is quite a bit like apple crisp with a different twist. I'll make it again. It was a big hit with the family. Thanks Frank!

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