Are my kids the only ones that flip out every night at dinner if I haven't decided to do dessert? Before the first forkful of whatever fabulous food group fusion hits their mouth, they move their lips to ask, "What's for dessert, mom? Huh?" Oh, it is indeed charming.
So much to my chagrin, my time crunch, and my barren pantry, the big cheese of the Sunday paper - Parade Magazine - had my back this weekend. And so my family had this:
4 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour [I used whole wheat - to go all Jessica Seinfeld on 'em - shhh...]
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teasp baking powder
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup milk
1 1/4 teasp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sliced or diced pears
Powdered sugar, for dusting [crap - I totally spaced on that]
Cut the butter into chunks and toss into 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Place in a 350 degree oven for 5-8 minutes, or until butter is melted. Meanwhile, whisk together dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add milk and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
Pour batter over the hot butter, top with the pears. Bake 45 minutes or until top is browned and a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. As they bake, the pears will sink to the bottom and form their own layer [or not].
Cool 30 minutes [if you have any restraint when it comes to dessert]; dust with powdered sugar. Serve slightly warm, straight from the dish [or eat it straight from the dish, like the micro-waved brownies of our past].
Easy. Peasy. Not Japanesey - but damn tasty!
This has to be about as retro as it goes. Definitely a word-of-mouth colonial kind of recipe, I can imagine every lady - from house help to house wife - has this doughy dessert in their apron pocket.
And they should. Because, damn, it's good.