This never-fails pear recipe turns out moist, firm and fruity every time. Some members of our family request these rich squares instead of cake for their birthdays.
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
- 3 egg yolks
- 4-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 cups chopped peeled ripe pears
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, 3 tablespoons sugar and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks and lemon juice; stir into dry ingredients with a fork. Remove 1 cup to another bowl; stir in the remaining sugar and set aside for the topping.
- Press remaining crumb mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 8-in. square baking dish. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, for filling, combine the sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, salt and cinnamon in a small saucepan; slowly stir in water and lemon juice until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla.
- Toss pears with remaining cornstarch; spoon over crust. Top with filling. Sprinkle with reserved topping. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 9 servings.
Originally published as Old-Fashioned Pear Dessert in Country Woman September/October 2006, p41
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