Finding Thyme to Cook

Thyme is of the Essence

Pear Crisp

Pear Crisp

I realize crisps, crumbles, and the like are should be extremely easy to make, but I always have had trouble with the topping not being crisp enough.   I didn’t want to add nuts, which would have been the obvious solution.  I plodded through recipes trying to find that perfect balance, ending up with soggy crisp, (now there is a oxymoron), burnt crisp (makes more sense, but inedible).  Maybe it’s me (but how hard is it to mix oats, butter, flour and brown sugar)?   Maybe it’s my oven (I do like to blame some of my missteps on my calibrated challenged oven).   I held out hope believing that it was just a matter of finding that right blend of ingredients.  I would lose focus after a few tries, and each year the arrival of Fall weather would be the catalyst for my renewed search for the “perfect crisp.”  I came upon a recipe in a recent Bon Appetit, and the topping seemed promising (although I have been down road before).  So I tried the topping, using pears for the filling, and the topping came out perfectly crisp.  The pear filling does not get particularly saucy as it would if you used cherries, but the taste is terrific and the topping stays crisp, even the second day out of the refrigerator.  It’s a perfect ending to a winter meal.  Bonus – start your day the next morning with the leftovers topped with Greek yogurt!!!

Pear Filling

  • 4 Bartlett pears (peeled and cut into1 inch cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 stick unsalted butter chilled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Butter a medium baking dish.

Combine pears and vanilla large bowl.

Add remaining ingredients and toss to blend.

Transfer to prepared baking dish.

In same bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt.

Add butter and mix . . .

with hands until moist clumps form

Sprinkle mix over pears and . . .

bake 45 minutes until top gets golden brown.

Top with whipped cream if desired.



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