Pear Crisp with Whiskey Caramel Sauce
Holiday baking can be stressful, especially if you need to prepare the entire dinner for a large group of people. Make ahead recipes, like fruit crisps, are essential to surviving these events. Of course there is also the added alcohol in this recipe, which surely helps. There are endless ways to make fruit crisps depending on how much time and prep work you prefer. The easiest way is to layer chopped fruit followed by the crisp mixture in a large casserole dish and bake until the fruit is hot and the crisp is crunchy and golden. The fastest way is to cook the fruit and crisp in two separate sauce pans on the stovetop. Yet, if the appearance is what you’re after, try baking the crisp directly in the fruit itself like these little pear boats.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Cut the pears in half then remove the ends and stem. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon so that you have a small hollow cavity. Turn the pear over and slice off a little piece of the outside of each pear so the pear won’t wobble or tip. Set the pears cut side up in a baking dish.
In a bowl mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, walnuts, almonds or pecans and butter.
Fill the inside of each of the hollowed centers with a few spoonful of the crisp. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pears are soft when poked with a fork.
In the meantime, make the whiskey caramel sauce. Put the sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat without stirring. After a few minutes, the sugar will start to melt around the boarders. With a wood spoon, drag the sugar towards the center so the liquid doesn’t burn. Move the sugar around gently until completely melted.
When the melted sugar has turned a caramel color and there are no sugar clumps, add the butter and stir rapidly for a few minutes. Be careful as the hot mixture will start to bubble upwards.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the heavy cream and stir vigorously. Again be extremely careful as the hot mixture will try to boil up. Add the pan back on the stove and cook for another minute, while constantly stirring.
Remove the saucepan from the stove and add the salt and whiskey, modifying to suit your own tastes.
When the pear crisp is ready, add a scoop of gelato and/or a drizzle of whiskey caramel sauce.
Make ahead instructions:
Make the pear crisps ahead and reheat in the oven or eat at room temperature. Store the whiskey caramel sauce covered in a glass container in the fridge and heat in the microwave or on the stove with a water bath.