Walnut Pear Crisp Bars

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I was bored a couple weeks ago and found a some super ripe pears in the pantry that were practically begging me to make them into something. So me being me, started brainstorming recipes to bake these super ripe pears into. I brainstormed a little and then the idea hit me: Walnut Pear Crisp Bars. The bars would be made with a buttery crust, well spiced and slightly tart filling, and then topped with a crispy and nutty walnut streusel. I got to baking, and before I knew it, I ended up with these Walnut Pear Crisp Bars. The base is a buttery crust that is soft, but does not fall apart when you pick it up. The filling is well spiced with cinnamon and ginger and isn't too sweet. The topping is nutty and crispy and ties together the base and filling.


TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes SERVINGS: 8


INGREDIENTS:

Crust

12 tablespoons softened butter

1 1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling

4 pears (1.25 lb)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Streusel Topping

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cuup chopped walnuts

1/2 c chopped walnuts

6 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt


RECIPE:

  1. Make the streusel topping by combining the flour, brown sugar, oats, walnuts, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Cut your butter into small cubes and add them to the bowl. Toss the butter cubes and coat them in the mixture. Start smashing the butter cubes with your fingers until clumps start to form. Keep forming clumps until all of the mixture is a part of a cluster and there are no fine particles left in the bowl. Then place the bowl in the fridge while you work on the crust.

  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla for the crust. Beat for at least 2 minutes until everything is light and fluffy. Add in your flour and salt and beat until a crumbly dough forms. If the dough feels very sticky, place your bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes.

  3. If the dough isn't super sticky, remove it from the bowl and place it in an 8''x8'' parchment lined baking pan. Press down the dough and make sure it is in an even layer. Place the pan in the fridge and preheat your oven to 325° F.

  4. Bake the for 17 minutes. While the crust bakes, begin working on the filling.

  5. Slice your pears into 1/4'' thick slices. Mix the pears with the sugars, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, cornstarch, salt, and lemon juice.

  6. After 17 minutes, remove the crust from the oven, increase the oven heat to 350° F, and let the crust cool for a couple minutes before adding in the filling. Pour the filling on top of the crust. If there is any excess liquid from the pears, reserve that liquid. Add a pinch of cornstarch to the liquid from the pears and mix it together until completely combined and then pour it over the pears. Too much excess liquid will make the crust soggy.

  7. Remove the topping from the fridge and cover the pears completely with the walnut oat topping in an even layer and bake at 350° F for 40-50 minutes.

  8. Let the bars cool down completely before slicing and serving. Store in the fridge.