During the current pandemic, like many others, I find myself purchasing more of an item than I usually would. I guess internally I’m worried that one day we won’t be allowed to go into the grocery stores at all so I’m even buying larger quantities of fruits and veggies when I see them, afraid it will be the last time.
Last week I bought a bag full of pears. I don’t know why. Nobody else in my house will eat a pear besides me. Fruit does not last long in the heat either. After a couple of days in this Mexican humidity at best, fruit has brown spots and is softer than it should be (why do you think we make banana bread so often?) and needs to be used right away or gets wasted. And I hate wasting food.
So the other day when I opened up the fridge and saw this bag of pears (that I promised myself I would eat all by myself), starting to rot, I knew I had to use them for something.
Something simple like pears cooked slightly in butter and sugar and topped with a crunchy almond crumble so crunchy it’s almost like granola? Should we just call it cranola? Sounds like a plan.
This is a very simple dish. The crumble makes more than you need. Store the rest and keep it in the fridge or freezer and top your morning yogurt with it. I could NOT stop eating it after I made it. Crunchy and salty and sweet all at the same time, it’s just about the perfect crumble. Granola. Whatever.
Use a different fruit if you choose, and put some ice cream on the side next time (if I had some I would have) and you have a beautiful dessert. Frankly, I would eat this for breakfast too. Fruit, granola, what’s not breakfast about that!
Oh, and currently, as I type this, I am snacking on said crumble with perhaps a few chocolate chips added. Happiness.
- 1 cup almonds, divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2/3 cup oats
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 TAB cold butter, diced
- 1 TAB honey
BROWN BUTTER PEARS
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 TAB brown sugar
- 6 pears, peeled if you choose (the skin can come off when cooking), sliced
- 1 TAB cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
For the crumble: In a large saucepan, toast the almonds for about 4 or 5 minutes until the aroma releases and they soften. Let cool a few minutes. Set aside 2/3 cup almonds. Take the rest and transfer to food processor. Pulse until finely ground. Transfer ground almonds to a medium size bowl. Add flour, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, oats, and salt. Stir well to combine. Add butter and with your fingers, work butter in with your fingers until well incorporated (mixture should form clumps). Coarsely chop the reserved 2/3 cup almonds and add to mixture. Add honey and stir to combine.
Turn mixture onto a large parchment lined baking sheet. Break large clumps apart and spread evenly, don’t crowd. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and crisp. Set aside to cool.
For the pears: combine butter and sugar in a small bowl. Transfer to saucepan and turn on heat to medium. When butter is melted and slightly bubbly, add pears without crowding, then add cinnamon and ginger. Cook pears for about 5 minutes or until they are the consistency that you like (normally I like a little bite to mine, but because the granola is so crunchy, I made mine softer).
Transfer pears to plate. Drizzle some of the butter mixture over the pears. Add crumble and serve.