Although I have a respectable collection of cookbooks, I tend to go to two favorite spots on the web when browsing recipes. One is Epicurious.com where I’ll focus on the recipes from Bon Appetit and Gourmet; the other is Food network.com where I’ll sort to certain chefs (Ina Garten, Tyler Lawrence, Bobby Flay if I’m in the mood for spicy or Alton Brown for something seen on his show). On one such browsing adventure for cranberries, I found this recipe that has become a favorite. I use it to lure my friends up for a weekend, “if you come up I promise I’ll make the pear cranberry cobbler”. It goes unsaid that it will be served with rich vanilla ice cream. However with the threat of power outage yet again hanging over my head, I made this with the intention of having it as a breakfast treat with some plain yogurt.
Love cooked pears they’re so very light sweet and mild and the cranberries add the perfect punch in this flavor palate. This particular recipe from Tyler Florence is absolutely fantastic as published and has a solid five-star review firstname.lastname@example.org . I can’t seem to help from making minor adjustments to recipes, in this case I like to add one cup of walnuts to the streusel topping. I also prefer to make my topping by keeping the butter ice cold and using my small food processor to quickly pulse the streusel together. In this particular batch I was thinking breakfast and not “company dessert” so didn’t bother to peel the pears. Because there was less surface area of pear to absorb the vanilla, I cut that in half. I like it both ways – peeling does give it an edge of just a bit better presentation. The most difficult thing about this recipe is not giving in to the temptation to hide it from everyone else (no one will look at that table on the icy cold porch instead of the fridge 🙂 ) and simply devouring it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.4 pears (Tyler specifies Bartlett but I use D’Anjou quite often) 2 tablespoons vanilla extract 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg Streusel Topping: 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 Cup Walnuts 2 cups cranberries 1/2 cup whipping cream, beaten to soft peaks Unsalted butter, at room temperature, granulated and sugar, for the baking dish Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel the pears and cut them in 1/2 through the stem end. Use a melon baller to scoop out the cores. Put the pear halves in a large bowl. Sprinkle over the vanilla; toss. Then sprinkle over the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and and toss to coat the pears with the flavorings. Line the pears up in a buttered, sugared baking dish rounded sides up.
In the same bowl, mash together the butter, brown sugar, flour, walnuts and salt with your hands for the topping (or use your processor). Toss in the cranberries. Crumble the topping mixture over the pears in the baking dish and bake until the topping is crunchy and browned and the pears are very tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream or yogurt.
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