So I went down to Green Cove Springs to visit the "Farmers Market" - I use the term terribly loosely - and was able to get some fresh produce: green peppers, purple onions, white onions, and pears....mmmmm pears. However, I spent most of the day after that in bed with the beginnings of a migraine. Luckily good meds, two very patient dogs and several hours of sleep made things much better. As you may have guessed, I awoke with some great energy. I made my favorite standby dinner of veggie fajitas with cheese & fresh guac...but kept looking at those pears and wondered what I could do with them.
I've never been one for any kind "cooked fruit" to speak of, but I do remember having pears wrapped in Phyllo dough covered with a warm vanilla sauce for Christmas one year. That sounded a bit far fetched for my skills and resources, but I'm always up for trying something new.
Didn't have phyllo dough on hand, but that's ok. I scoured some of my favorite cooking sites for ideas and here's what I came up with: Cooked Pears with Vanilla Sauce and Oatmeal Streusel Topping. Not bad if I do say so myself - and there was no trip to the store cause I had all this stuff on hand. If I do, I'm betting you do to. So let's get started!
The parts of the recipe are simple - start with the streusel first.
Oatmeal Streusel Topping
1 c oats (not instant)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp melted butter
Toss to combine and spread a thin layer on a foil lined baking sheet.
Actually you could clump together some of the topping to make little
baked clusters, but whatever makes ya happy here.
Bake at 350 for 15 min or until gold brown
While that's baking, prep the pears.
Peel off skin, break off stem
Cut off bottom so that it’s flat
Cut in half - spoon out seeds and veins
Place in baking dish flat side down
Sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar
Melt 1-2 tbsp butter and pour over pears
Bake at 350 for 25-30 min till fork tender
I used Bartlett Pears - liked the flavor and the
fact that they were just a little bit crunchy.
While the pears are cooking, start the vanilla sauce
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp flour
1/2 c butter, no substitutes
1/2 c milk - I used skim and it turned out fine
Holy cow was the vanilla sauce sweet, but very good!!! Experimenting with creating a sauce like this was a great visual lesson. I thought the sauce would thicken as it lightly boiled, but it wasn't. I turned up the heat a bit to get it to a "rolling boil" so to speak and saw how quickly it was thickening then I grasped the concept of what it was going to turn out like. Glossy, light caramel colored, fluid and slightly thick. YUM!!!
Don't let the pears cool - just place a half or whole one in a bowl round side down. Spoon the vanilla sauce over and fill the pear's pit, then sprinkle over some topping. I have this tactile texture issue and used a bit more streusel. ENJOY!!!