Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pear Custard Bars

The Altitude Adjustment Section
I was out to dinner last night and our friends (who we just met) ordered a pizza with walnuts and pear slices and we started talking about all the ways one could use pears in unexpected ways in cooking. So I was thinking about pears and I adapted this bar recipe to use pears and it’s pretty delicious, so you should try it.

1/2 cup butter softened
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup pecans chopped fine
For the Filling/Topping:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 pears peeled sliced and cooked in 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the flour and vanilla until combined. Stir in the nuts. Press into a greased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Increase heat to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Pour over crust. Place cooked pear slices on top in a single layer over filling. Combine sugar and cardamom and sprinkle over pears. Bake at 375 degrees for 28-30 minutes (center will be soft set and will become firmer upon cooling). Cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.