Pear Crumble Bars

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A month or so ago (before all of the snow hit), we visited a local park which is built around an old homestead with a beautiful house, garden and weather vane.

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Near the house I was surprised to see a big Bartlett pear tree laden with fruit.  We had two of these trees on our old homestead on the Ohio/Indiana border many years ago and I always made full use of all of the delicious pears.  No one was gathering the pears here but I resisted the temptation to pick up a few for my favorite Pear Crumble Pie and instead bought some at the store.  This time I used the pears to make a bar cookie with all of the flavors of the pie but on a tender cookie base.   These are delicious.

PEAR CRUMBLE BARS


3 cups of sliced, peeled ripe Bartlett pears (3-4 medium pears)
1-½ Tblsp. lemon juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. grated lemon peel
2 Tblsp. butter

Crumble Topping
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
4 Tblsp. butter

Cookie Base:
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Butter a 9-inch baking pan

To prepare pears:
In a medium bowl, place pear slices, lemon juice, sugar, flour and lemon peel.  Toss lightly.  In a skillet, melt 2 Tblsp. butter and add the pear mixture.  Saute pear mixture until pears are slightly soft but not brown.  Set aside.
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To prepare crumb topping:
In a small bowl, place flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Whisk to combine.  Cut in 4 Tblsp. butter until mixture is crumbly.  Set aside.

To prepare cookie base:
In a mixer bowl, beat sugar and butter until creamy.  Add egg and mix to combine.  Add flour, salt and vanilla, mixing just until flour is absorbed.  Spread this mixture in the prepared 9×9 inch pan.  Dough will be quite thick – dampening the fingertips helps spread the dough in the pan.

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Spread the pear mixture over the top of the dough.

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Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top of the pears.

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Bake @ 350 degrees F for approximately 35 minutes until cake is done and topping is golden brown.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack and cut into 9 bars.

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Pear Crumble Pie

I started making this pie in 1989, using the Bartlett pears from two trees on our country property.  I’ve baked it at least once a year ever since, using pears from the farmers’ market for the last 10 years  after having to leave our pear trees behind.  The recipe is adapted from one in a 1966 Better Homes and Gardens Pies & Cakes cookbook.  It’s a great pie and just right for these early fall days.

PEAR CRUMBLE PIE

  • 9 inch unbaked pastry shell  (see my favorite recipe here)
  • 5 cups pared and sliced ripe Bartlett pears
  • 3 Tblsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • Crumble Topping (see below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Place pears in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice.  Mix the sugar, flour and lemon peel together and stir into the pear slices.  Spoon into the unbaked pastry shell.

Crumble Topping

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 4 Tblsp. butter, cut into small cubes

Mix together the flour, sugar and spices.  Cut in the butter until blended.  Sprinkle on top of pear mixture in unbaked pie shell.

Bake in a 375 degree F oven for approximately 45 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 6 to 8 delicious servings.