My dear friend Shannon of Mille Feuille Photography and all things fabulous, visited this weekend for the 13th annual Sacramento Art Festival. Not only is she pedaling gorgeous photography, the girl brought me pears! I know what you may be thinking: Really, pears? How exciting is that? A lot of people don’t even like pears (see Eddie Izzard’s rant, around minute 4:30, “They’re like a rock or they’re mush!”). But pear haters haven’t tried the Ukiah* variety–barely ripe and hard like an apple. Try ’em and you’ll see, pears don’t have to be overly sweet, mushy and mealy.
As my return trip to Cactus Land was only a couple days out, I didn’t want the eight gems to go to waste. As I’m also stressed, I figured: Let’s bake a crisp!
A quick google search brought me Harvest Pear Crisp from Cooking Light (see below). DELISH! I followed the recipe exactly, except that I doubled the topping. I know, I know, it’s probably not “cooking light” when you do that, but I couldn’t help myself, the crust is my favorite part. When I make this again, I’ll probably do a full batch of topping and a half, or reduce the amount of brown sugar for the topping. The crispy oats and walnuts gave a delightful crunch, but it is sweet enough to leave out some sugar I think (especially when served over the requisite slow churned vanilla ice cream!).
Harvest Pear Crisp from Cooking Light
6 cups Anjou or Bartlett pears, cored and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup regular oats
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Combine pears and lemon juice in a 2-quart baking dish; toss gently to coat. Combine granulated sugar, cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; stir with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pear mixture; toss well to coat.
3. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until combined. Add chilled butter; pulse 6 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add oats and walnuts; pulse 2 times. Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over pear mixture.
4. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until pears are tender and topping is golden brown. Cool 20 minutes on a wire rack; serve warm or at room temperature.
5. (From Shawna) Serve with Dryer’s Slow Churned Vanilla Ice Cream
* Ukiah is (was?) the pear capital of the world!
Photo from Cooking Light