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by Liren Baker

Liren Baker is the voice behind the blog Kitchen Confidante, where she shares taste and inspiration in the kitchen. Inspired by the beauty of food, what it represents, what it invokes, and what we can create out of it, she shares recipes and images that remind her of her heritage, her childhood in New York, and the vibrant culinary culture she has learned to embrace in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she currently lives.

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  • pear crisp
    Photo: Liren Baker
  • Falling leaves. Chilly mornings. Hot cider. And lots of baking. Fall is just around the corner, and I can't wait.

    It took me some time to say farewell to summer, but seeing these beauties at the market helped me move along.
  • pears
    Photo: Liren Baker
  • Pears of all shapes and sizes are finally making their appearance; and while they are beautiful to look at and stunningly photogenic, I am starting to dream up ways to slice and dice and bake them in all kinds of delicious ways.

    A comforting pear crisp is always a good standby for dessert, it's simple to put together and delightful by the spoonful. But how about stuffing the crisp into the pear?
  • crisp topping
    Photo: Liren Baker
  • I love the rustic elegance of a stuffed pear crisp. You have individual servings, ready to go, perfect for a dinner party. But really, making this is a dream for the lazy cook. Less slicing, less dicing is needed, saving you time in the kitchen. You could also prep a large batch in advance and bake them off as necessary.

    There's only one thing left, after you pull it from the oven. Be sure to enjoy it while it's warm and gooey. Oh, and don't forget the ice cream!
  • pears and pear crisp
    Photo: Liren Baker
  • Stuffed Pear Crisp

    Serves 8

    1/2 cup flour
    1/2 cup brown sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
    4 tablespoons cold butter, cut in cubes
    1/4 cup oats
    1/4 cup chopped pecans
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    4 pears, halved and seeds removed with melon baller
    caramel and ice cream for serving

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    In a small bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Using a pastry cutter, fork, two knifes, or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until you have coarse crumbs. This can also be completed in the bowl of a food processor. Add the oats, pecan, and cinnamon, and stir. Pinch the crumbs together so you have large chunks. Scoop the topping into the pears, and arrange in a baking dish. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the crisp topping is golden, and the pears are tender when pierced with a toothpick.

    Serve while warm with ice cream and a drizzle of caramel, if desired.
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