In January, the desserts on our mind are not the gooey decadent onesof December or the chocoholic sweetswe’ll be feeding to our loved ones come Valentine’s Day. No, this time of year, we’re thinking fruit for dessert. Winter’s apples, oranges, and pears satisfy our sweet tooth after a good meal without threatening our commitment to healthful eating. We didn’t make our New Year’s resolutions that long ago!
That’s why, when we think about how to step dessert up a notch for celebrations or cozy family dinners, we’re still focused on fruit. Bosc pears represent one of the few fruits that are really juicy and ripe this time of year, and so we make the most out of their perfection by topping them with an oatmeal-based crumble topping, which gets crispy and browned in the oven. While the crisp is, well, crisping up, the pears beneath the topping grow sweeter and meltingly soft.
To start, simply gather your five six ingredients: ripe pears, old-fashioned oats, flour, salted butter, chopped walnuts, and brown sugar. The pears and a little bit of the sugar go into the bottom of your baking pan, while the butter, oats, walnuts, sugar, and flour combine to become the crisp topping. Using your fingers to combine the ingredients will result in a bowl full of delicious sweet crumble. (We won’t tell if you try a bite!)
Sprinkle the crumble on top of the pears, and that’s all your prep. Then, while you’re eating dinner, stick the whole pan in the oven and wait for the fragrant scents of pears, brown sugar, and toasting oats to take over your kitchen.
We like to serve with a little whipped cream–but you could try a scoop of your favorite ice cream, too.
Note: if you can’t find nice, ripe pears, here’s what to do: heat a little extra butter in a skillet. Add the pears and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears have softened. Once soft, they’ll also be sweeter, and you can proceed with the rest of the recipe.
INGREDIENTS 1 pound ripe pears (Bosc work well), peeled and de-seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick-cooking oats
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) salted butter
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Butter a small baking dish (an appropriate size for the amount of pears your using).
Toss the pears with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of water and place them the base of the buttered baking dish. In the microwave, melt the butter in a medium glass bowl and combine it with the oats, flour, walnuts, and brown sugar to create the crumble mixture. Evenly distribute the crumble mixture over the pears.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crumble is toasted and browned and the pears are tender.
Serve with either whipped cream or your preferred flavor of ice cream.