Last night I made dinner and had a few people over to help me pre-celebrate my birthday (actual day is Tuesday the 15th). I was really excited to be serving up a new braised short ribs recipe I'd come up with, and some really tasty kalamata olive-sage polenta fries -- so excited, in fact, that I forgot that no birthday bash would be complete without some vehicle for some drippy wax b-day candles.
The mission: to come up with a dessert that is easy, made up of ingredients I mostly already have stocked, and that you can hold a candle to (literally) - or 26 candles, to be precise!
The result: Melt-in-your-mouth success! Pear crumble to the rescue...
Easy Pear-Ginger Crumble (printable version)
3 lb. pears, ripe but firm, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 half lemon)
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter
birthday candles (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly greasy a 9 by 13 in. baking dish (or some equivalent). Combine the ingredients for the filling in a medium bowl, mix well, and pour into the baking dish. Cover the surface with plastic wrap while you prepare the crumble so the pears don't turn brown.
In another bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender, or two knives (or just your hands). Combine until the butter is mixed in and resembles little pebbles.
Uncover the filling and cover the top completely with the crumble. Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, until the topping is a golden brown and crunchy and the pears are soft and cooked through. Serve warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top.