Sunday, December 09, 2007

I Gots The Giggles

I love when I give myself the giggles...and it wasn't the bubbly either....

It started with the vanilla.

Which I opened up to release the flavorful goodies inside.

Tee hee...then there was the Irish butter. Ha!

Ultimately those beautiful things were added to some fresh pears.
Looking good! Luscious. Sweet. Subtle.

Get that whole mess into small ramekin dishes.

Top with some more butter, oats and brown sugar.

Bake for awhile. Tender. Aromatic. Sweet. Buttery.

While slightly warm, serve with homemade cardamom ice cream.

Giggle and cry at the same time. Seriously. It's that good.

Browned Butter.
Vanilla Browned Butter.

Pear and Vanilla Browned Butter Crisp!

Sweet Sweet Nirvana.

from Gourmet (10/2007), via Smitten Kitchen, and altered a bit by me

For topping:
1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 TB butter, melted

(The original topping had almonds and more flour...I didn't have almonds, so I went with a more traditional oat topping.)

For filling:
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 TB granulated sugar
1 TB all-purpose flour
3 firm-ripe Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 TB pear vodka (if you have it), recipe called for pear brandy, which I didn't have.

Equipment: 4 small ramekins

Make topping: Toss together flour, otas, brown sugar, and salt. Drizzle butter, toss with a fork until blended. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

Make filling and bake crisps: Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.

Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a small heavy saucepan, then add pod and butter and cook over medium-low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until butter is browned and fragrant, about 4 minutes.

While butter browns, stir together sugars, flour, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add pears and vodka and toss to combine.

Discard vanilla pod, then toss butter with pear mixture. Spoon filling into gratin dishes and sprinkle with topping, mounding it slightly in centers. Put in a shallow baking pan and bake 30 minutes, then rotate baking sheet and bake until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes more. Cool to warm or room temperature on a rack.

Make-ahead tips: The topping can made in advance, chilled and covered for up to 2 days. The crisps can be assembled (but not baked) 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring them room temperature before baking.


Dancer in DC said...

A sweet treat to end a hectic weekend! I like the use of pears, as they are milder, and not so acidic as apples might be.

Stef said...

I love when you text me about your giggles. :-)

This sounds deelish. I had a pear salad yesterday, and the pear was just awesome.

Barbara said...

Looks delish! And now that I have vanilla beans, I can add this recipe to the ever growing list of things I can do with them.

ScottE. said...

Made these again...for Easter. Perfect. Used three types of pears and added a pinch of ground cardamom to the topping. Very nice. Also added about 1/4 cup of chopped almonds to the version of the topping laid out in the recipe we have oats, flour, brown sugar, butter and almonds...very nice.