If you ever run across a pear variety named Royal Riviera, grab all you can! I used to think all pears were basically the same … somewhat sweet, juicy and a tiny bit of grit to the teeth. In other words, they were OK, but not exceptional. That is until I had my first Royal Riviera pear. These are buttery smooth, remarkably sweet and practically slip down your throat. Wow! The lineage goes all the way back to 19thcentury France and are famously grown in Oregon’s Rogue Valley where they were first brought in 1897. They are unbelievable. My husband who has always said he doesn’t like pears, was blown away. After immediately slicing and consuming one each of the dozen we had, I knew I wanted to make something with some of the rest that would be company worth. So into the oven went a crumble made of these spectacular pears and it was devoured in one dinner party. You will love this with pears or apples served warm with vanilla bean ice cream.
Yield: 6 servings
3 pounds (6 cups) cored, sliced & peeled pears
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut in pieces
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish and set aside. In a mixing bowl, toss the pears with the lemon juice to evenly coat. In a small separate bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the pears and toss to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and set aside.
Stir together the flour and brown sugar, with a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut in the butter until the mixture resemble coarse meal. Add the nuts and sprinkle evenly over the pears mixture. Bake 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 20 minutes on a wire rack before serving warm with vanilla ice cream.