Pear Brown Betty
- 1 1/4 cups stale plain cake crumbs (spongecake, angel food cake, or pound cake) or soft fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch ground cloves
- 2 1/2 pounds firm-ripe Bosc pears, peeled, quartered and sliced into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup apple cider
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- Vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a shallow 6 by 9-inch baking dish or other shallow quart size baking dish. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the crumbs, brown and white sugars, and spices.
In a separate bowl, toss the pears with the lemon juice to prevent their turning brown.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the pears, then pour the apple cider over the pears. Sprinkle about half of the remaining crumbs over the pears, then dot with half of the butter. Top with the remaining pears, remaining crumbs, and remaining butter.
Bake until the crumbs are golden brown and the fruit is soft and bubbly, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool briefly before serving. Serve warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.