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Category: Desserts

Asian pear crisp with almond topping

Asian pear crisp with almond topping
Los Angeles Times

Fall has always seemed an especially sweet season for me. When I was a kid I'd get a thrill seeing the neatly lined up boxes of fresh pencils and rows of unmarked notebooks in the stores. Not to mention the ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 35 minutes | Serves 6
Note: The slivered almonds should be as fresh as possible.
  • Butter
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup Bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) chilled butter
  • 3 Asian pears (about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter 6 (one-half cup) ramekins or baking cups. Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover them with the Bourbon until they soften slightly, about 30 minutes. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until they are fragrant and have darkened slightly, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Step 2To prepare the topping, combine the almonds, flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and the salt in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2 or 3 times to chop the almonds coarsely; you don't want them finely ground.

Step 3Cut the cold butter into cubes and scatter over the dry ingredients. Pulse until the butter is cut up into small clumps, about the size of peas. Do not over-process. Set aside.

Step 4Peel the pears and cut them in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller to scoop out the core and stem. Cut the pears in neat one-half-inch dice. You should have about 3 1/2 to 4 cups.

Step 5Place the diced pears in a large bowl and gently toss with the honey and lemon juice. Drain the raisins and add them to the bowl, reserving the Bourbon. Fold together gently to avoid breaking up the pears.

Step 6Spoon the pears into the prepared ramekins, filling all the way to the top (the filling will settle some during baking). Divide the topping and spoon evenly on top of the pears. Do not pat firm -- left a little loose it will make a crisper crust.

Step 7Bake until the top is evenly browned, about 1 hour. Cool slightly before serving.

Step 8While the baked crisps are cooling, whip the cream to form soft peaks. Beat in the remaining teaspoon of sugar and one-half teaspoon of the reserved Bourbon, discarding the rest.

Step 9Top each crisp with a small dollop of whipped cream and pass the rest of the cream at the table.

Each serving:
270 calories; 2 grams protein; 35 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 14 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 38 mg. cholesterol; 104 mg. sodium.
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