Individual Pear Crunch with crystalized ginger and hazelnut topping with vanilla bean whipped cream
5 pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
6 ounces cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 vanilla bean. split and seeds removed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Filling: Toss the pears with the lemon juice to coat.
Brown the unsalted butter in a saute pan, add the chopped pears, and stir to coat. Add the ginger, 5 spice powder and sugars, and saute for 5 minutes.
While the pears are cooking make the topping.
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together, crack the egg and add it unbeaten to the flour mixture and stir. Add hazelnuts and mix until you have fine crumbs.
Place 1/2 cup cooked pears in individual souffle dishes, top with 1/3 cup of the hazelnut topping and dot with butter.
Bake the crunch until the top is golden brown, for 20 minutes . Remove the dishes from the oven and let cool on baking racks.
While the crunches cool make whipped cream.
In a cold bowl whip the cream with a hand mixer on high speed to soft peaks. Add the sugar and vanilla seeds and whip for another minute.
Top crunch with whipped cream and enjoy with a glass of chardonnay
Yield: 4 to 6 servings