Friday, October 4, 2013

Caramelized Pear & Spiced Crumb Heaven

A couple of weeks ago I made these Pumpkin Spice Crumb Bars from Crunchy Creamy Sweet.  I changed up the spices a little in the crust and they were really good.  The crust was out of this world and had me dreaming about different fillings I could use with the crumb topping/base.   As I've mentioned before, I love pretty much any cooked fruit dessert.  Now that it is officially fall, I decided something with pears or apples was in order.  Having recently pinned Kleinworth & Co's caramelized pear pie filling, pears it was.

The first thing you want to do is to spray a square metal baking dish with baking spray (not just regular cooking spray) and then stick the pan in the freezer.  I don't know why, but this helps the bars come out super easily.  I got this tip from a lady at Williams-Sonoma once and it has never failed me.

Peel, core, and roughly chop some pears (I used Bartlett).  Put them in a medium saucepan and toss with a little bit of lemon juice.  Cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes.

While the pears are cooking, mix up some brown sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and cardamom.  Then melt some butter and add it to the dry ingredients.  Once it is well mixed, set a little less than half aside and press the rest into the baking dish.


By now your pears should be softened.  Mix up some brown sugar, corn starch, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and cardamom.  Then stir the sugar and spice mixture into the pears and cook for another couple of minutes.


Pour the pear mixture onto the crust in your baking dish and spread it out so it covers the crust completely.  Then take the crust dough you set aside and sprinkle it all over the top of the pears as evenly as you can.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.  At this point, you have two options, which is why I really struggled with what to name this delicious treat.   I finally decided on Caramelized Pear & Spiced Crumb Heaven because fall flavored heaven is exactly what you will get.

If you are impatient and the smell of delicious pears and warm spices has you dying for a delicious fall treat, cut a piece and then use a spoon to scoop it into a bowl.  Top with some vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce if you want, and honestly, why wouldn't you?  Then enjoy it like you would a crisp, except with twice as much delicious crumb topping because you have the bottom layer as well.

Option two, is for those of you with patience (or leftovers).  Let it cool to room temperature.  Then cover and refrigerate.  Once it is totally cold you will be able to cut it into bars and enjoy them like that.

Both are equally scrumptious and it really just depends on your patience level and what you are in the mood for.  No matter how you decide to enjoy them, you will be rewarded with a delicious treat filled with the sweet taste of pears and the warm flavors of the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and cardamom.

Caramelized Pear & Spiced Crumb Heaven (or bars)
Adapted from Pumpkin Spice Crumb Bars & Caramelized Pear Pie Filling

For the crust:
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom
For the pear filling:
  • 3 pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 tbls. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbls. corn starch
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom
  1. Spray an 8 x 8 metal baking pan with baking spray and put in the freezer.  Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Toss the pears with the lemon juice in a medium saucepan and saute, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes over medium-high heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together all crust ingredients except for butter.  Then stir in butter until well combined.  Set aside 3/4 cup of crust dough and press the rest into the prepared baking pan.
  4. Combine the brown sugar, corn starch, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and cardamom.  Add it to the pears and stir until they are well coated.  Cook for an additional two minutes.  Then pour onto the crust.
  5. Take the reserved crust dough and sprinkle it over the top of the pears, covering it as evenly as you can.
  6. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.  
  7. Serve warm with ice cream and caramel or cool to room temperature then refrigerate until cold and cut into bars.

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