The warm, melted fruit combination of pears and cranberries makes a fantastic comfort-food dessert to warm up even the coldest night. Grab a bowlful with a scoop of ice cream and slip on a thick pair of socks: You've got the ultimate winter nightcap.
- Unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Granulated sugar
- 4 Bartlett pears
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Streusel Topping:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter; softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, beaten to soft peaks
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Dust the dish with granulated sugar, tapping out any excess.
Peel the pears and cut them in half through the stem end. Use a melon baller to scoop out the cores. Put the pear halves in a large bowl, sprinkle with the vanilla and toss. Then sprinkle over the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and toss so that the pears are really well coated with the flavorings. Set the pears in a single layer, cored-side down, in the prepared baking dish.
Now make the topping. In the same bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, flour and salt and mash it all together with your fingers. Toss in the cranberries. Crumble the topping mixture over the pears in the baking dish and bake until the topping is nice and crunchy and browned and the pears are very tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Clarkson Potter 2006. All rights reserved.
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