Monday, October 25, 2010

Autumn's Bounty - Pears

A friend of mine who lives in the country decided to share her bounty of pears.   She brought me a large paper sack of them but told me that they're cooking pears only.  I have no idea what variety they are except that they are very hard, almost like an apple.

My husband is allergic to apples, so I thought this might be a great chance for him to have a tender fruit crisp with the warm, fall flavors of cinnamon and brown sugar plus chewy oats and crunchy walnuts for contrast.

Harvest Pear Crisp
Recipe from Cooking Light magazine, September 2002

6 cups pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2" thick slices (about 3 lbs.)
1 T. lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (divided use)
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. butter, chilled
1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and butter a 2 qt. glass pyrex baking dish.

Combine pears and lemon juice in baking dish, toss to coat.  Combine cornstarch, granulated sugar, and 1 tsp. cinnamon, then sprinkle over pears, tossing to coat.

Combine flour, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt in bowl of food processor.  Pulse a couple of times until blended.  Add chilled butter and pulse until mixture looks coarse.  Add oats and walnuts and pulse a couple of times more.  Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over pear mixture

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until pears are tender and topping is golden brown.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.  (NOTE:  This can also be reheated in the microwave later--if it lasts that long!)

Warm and comforting pear crisp
Serves 8 with 285 calories per serving (excluding ice cream!)

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