Remember this photo? I included it in my French-Inspired Maple is the Staple Luxury Dinner Party write-up for my Project Food Blog Challenge #3 entry. It was way down at the bottom of the post but that’s not to say it wasn’t important. In fact, I themed my entire 5 course dinner around this one dessert! Maple is a big-time New England flavor, especially in the fall, and it’s one that I’ve come to love baking with in the past few years. And it just so happens that this pear-maple cobbler recipe was chosen in advance by Josie for Project Pastry Queen’s post last week. Pears and maple in the same dessert? I’m sold! It was a dessert I was truly looking forward to making from The Pastry Queen so I decided to theme my entire dinner party around the maple in the recipe.
And boy was I happy with the end result of these cobblers. Not only are they pretty to look at but the overall flavor was spot on. The pears were baked to perfection. They softened but were still firm enough to let you know you were eating pears and not mush. The maple mingled with the nutmeg (which I reduced by half in the filling and topping) and produced this warm and cozy flavor that made me want to pour a hot cup of coffee and snuggle up on the couch under a blanket. And the cobbler topping…well, that was by far the best part of the whole dessert. I originally thought there would be way too much before I started topping the hot filling with it, but I kept piling it on, and it turns out that it was the perfect amount. These individual cobblers were the perfect ending to my maple dinner party and topped with some cinnamon ice cream that gets all delicious with the warm topping, they’ll be the perfect ending to any of your dinners.
source: adapted from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather via Pink Parsley
For the filling:
- 5 pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tbsp chilled unsalted butter, sliced into 6 even pats
For the topping:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 pinches ground nutmeg (about 1/8 tsp, divided)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp sugar
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- To make the filling: Combine the pears, maple syrup, four, salt, vanilla, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir well and divide the mixture evenly among six ramekins. Top each with one pat of butter. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet to catch any overflow and bake until heated through and bubbly, about 18-20 minutes.
- To make the topping: Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, and a pinch nutmeg in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Combine the remaining nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Melt two tablespoons of the butter and set aside. Cut the remaining 6 tablespoons into six pieces and add them to the flour mixture. Process until fine crumbs form. Add the cream, maple syrup, and vanilla, and process until just combined. Drop by spoonfuls over the warm pear filling. Brush the topping with the melted butter, and sprinkle with the reserved sugar mixture.
- Bake 14 minutes, until golden-brown and firm to the touch. Serve warm. (Suggested ice cream: Cinnamon Vanilla Bean)