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Best Recipes, Desserts

Pear cobbler with hazelnut biscuits

Pear cobbler with hazelnut biscuits
Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times

Just as the days are getting shorter and cooler and our desire to fire up the oven is kicking into gear, here comes a terrific crop of new baking books. With entries from Sherry Yard, Rose Levy Beranbaum, Pascal Rigo, ... Read more

Total time: 40 minutes, plus at least 1 hour chilling time | Serves 8

Hazelnut biscuits

  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup skinned, roasted and coarsely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pea-size bits
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut liqueur
  • 1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse-grain or granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Step 1Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and coarsely chopped hazelnuts in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, a mixer with the flat beater attachment or your fingertips, work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix in the cream and hazelnut liqueur to form a soft dough.

Step 2Knead for just 10 seconds, then lightly flour the dough and pat it out on a baking sheet in a 1-inch-thick layer. Cover with plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for for 1 to 8 hours.

Step 3Heat the oven to 375 degrees, placing a rack in the middle position. Uncover the dough, and use a round cutter to cut out 2 1/4-inch biscuits. Pat the scraps together and re-cut to make a total of 8 biscuits. Arrange them at 2-inch intervals on a nonstick or parchment-lined baking sheet.

Step 4Brush a light coating of egg wash on the biscuits. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the finely chopped hazelnuts and one-half teaspoon sugar on each biscuit.

Step 5Bake for 20 minutes, or until slightly tanned and springy. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack to cool.

Pear filling

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 pounds Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
  • 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

Step 1Melt the butter in a large skillet over high heat. Stir in the brown sugar. Add the pears and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.

Step 2Carefully add the Marsala, standing away from the pan, as the mixture may start to flame. After 2 minutes, any flames should subside. Add the cream and cook for 3 more minutes to thicken.

Step 3Top with the biscuits and serve immediately.

Note: From "American Desserts" by Wayne Harley Brachman.

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