Once upon a time, there was a pair of pears that sat ripening together as they awaited their fate.

For days, the pears sat bored in their bowl in a fruitless daze until one evening, they saw the knife emerge from the wooden block and the oven go on. As they nestled amongst the rest of their brood, their concern brewed as to whether or not their time had come. Out came some cinnamon, sugar and flour. The scent of toasting pecans sent continued ripples of concern through the group. Finally the pears found peace as they determined that their last hours in a maple pecan idyl were better than continued boring days, idle in their tabletop bowl.  They were sliced and tossed and covered with crumble in an eight inch pan before they went into the oven, onto a plate and on the table where the lucky guests ate up every last bite.

Pear Crisp with Maple Pecan Crumble

6 cups Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the topping:
2/3 cup of flour
1/2 cups of old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup pure maple sugar (brown sugar may be substituted
1/3 cup toasted, chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle the lemon juice over the sliced pears. In a bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the pears and toss to coat. For the topping, combine flour, oats, maple sugar, pecans and salt. use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients well. Add the cold butter cut into 1/4 inch cubes. Use your fingers to squeeze the butter into the dry ingredients and continue pinching and mixing until you have a well mixed crumble.

Put the pear slices in an 8 x 8 inch square baking dish or a deep pie dish. Sprinkle crumble topping over the pears. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until pears are bubbly and soft and crisp is browned. Serve warm with cream or vanilla ice cream.