Vanilla & Brown Butter Pear Crisp Recipe

2015-11-06

For topping
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole almonds
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For filling
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
½ stick unsalted butter
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
5-6 medium ripe (not mushy) pears – Bartlett, Anjou or Bosc
2 tablespoons pear brandy (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a shallow baking pan.

Topping: Combine the following ingredients in a food processor and pulse until fine: Flour, almonds, brown sugar, and salt. Add ¾ stick of butter (melted and cooled) and pulse until blended. Coarsely crumble in a shallow baking pan and chill for 1 hour.

Filling: In a small heavy saucepan, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add ½ stick of butter and the vanilla pod. Cook over medium-low heat for approximately 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until butter turns golden brown. Skim foam from top, and remove from heat. Pour into a bowl to cool the butter and stop the cooking. Leave any burned sediment behind and remove the vanilla pod.

Peel and coarsely chop the pears. In a large bowl, combine the granulated and brown sugar, flour, and a pinch of salt. Add the pears and the pear brandy (optional) and stir. Toss with the vanilla browned butter and stir. Spoon into the shallow baking pan and sprinkle with topping.

Bake for 30 minutes and rotate. Cook for
10-15 minutes more until topping is golden and bubbles up. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

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