Pear Crumble with Lavender and Almonds
Fruit crumbles or gratins are French country -style desserts replete with seasonal flavors, and lavender goes well with almost all fruits, from apples to peaches. The scant amount of batter makes just enough custard to hold the pears together, while sugar, almonds, and lavender make the crumble topping.
6 tablespoons butter (1 and ½ melted)
6 tablespoons sugar
4 firm, ripe, flavorful pears, halved, cored, and peeled
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup crushed almonds
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms
1 cup heavy cream or crème fraiche
Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F. Using 2 tablespoons of the butter, heavily butter a 9-inch pie plate, preferably glass. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the sugar over the bottom. Place the halves pears cut side down in the pie plate.
In a bowl, beat together the egg, milk, flour, and salt to form a batter. Pour the batter evenly over the pears. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, the almonds, and the lavender. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the pears. Dot the surface with 1 ½ of the remaining 3 tablespoons butter.
Place in the oven and bake, basting with the melted butter after about 10 minutes, until the pears are firm and juicy and are crisping on top, about 15 minutes Remove from the oven and serve hot or warm by scooping up the pear halves and custard onto individual plates. Pour about 2 tablespoon of the cream or crème fraiche over each pear half.