Pear crumble


Makes 4 servings

I like to use a combination of red- and green-skinned pears for this recipe. Select those that are firm and slightly underripe, which makes for easier slicing and also a pleasing texture after cooking. Cooking time depends on the ripeness. Serve the warm pears with their gingersnap topping in dessert bowls with small scoops of rich vanilla ice cream.
4 gingersnap cookies 
2 pears halved lengthwise and cut into 3/8-inch slices 
¼ cup dried apricots in ¼-inch pieces
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Put the cookies in a plastic bag or between sheets of wax paper. Use a rolling pin or can to break them into large crumbs.

Stir together the pears, apricots, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Transfer to a 1 ½-quart microwave-proof casserole dish.

Microwave on HIGH for 1 to 1 ½ minutes or until the pears are tender. (They will continue to soften after being removed from the microwave.)

Spoon the warm pears into small dessert bowls and sprinkle with the crumbled cookies.

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