I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Or in this case, turn down a gift of fresh pears from a friend who, yes, grows her own pears — especially in the fall, when I love to bake fruit crisps, crumbles and tarts. When I received a box of Warren pears from her, I devised a number of ways to use the fruit, besides as a sugary dessert.
Pears are wonderful for baking and poaching, as most varieties hold their shape well during the cooking process. This recipe is a “healthy” version of a crumble, with the pear halves roasted in the oven, then topped with yogurt, honey and a streusel topping. Call it a healthy dessert or a decadent breakfast, but just be sure to make it.
Roasted Pears and Yogurt Streusel
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons plus 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ripe but firm pears, such as Warren or Bartlett
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup whole milk plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons runny honey, plus extra for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk the sugar and the 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a small bowl.
Cut the pears in half lengthwise and remove the cores. Set aside half of the butter for the streusel. Brush the cut sides of the pears with the remaining butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Arrange the pears in a baking pan and roast in the oven, cut side up, until tender but not mushy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and cool while you prepare the streusel.
Combine the oats, walnuts, brown sugar, the 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and the salt in a bowl. Add the reserved butter and stir to coat. Spread on a small, rimmed baking pan and bake in the oven until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Whisk the yogurt, honey and vanilla in a small bowl. Arrange the pears in bowls. Spoon the yogurt into the centers of the pears. Sprinkle the streusel over the yogurt and pears. Drizzle with additional honey.
Lynda Balslev is a cookbook author, food and travel writer, and recipe developer based in the San Francisco Bay area, where she lives with her Danish husband, two children, a cat and a dog. She studied cooking at Le Cordon Bleu Ecole de Cuisine in Paris and worked as a personal chef, culinary instructor, and food writer in Switzerland and Denmark. Her favorite activities include hiking, cooking dinners for her friends and family, and planning her next travel destination.