This is perfect to make in midsummer when the Bartlett pears and Gravenstein apples are both in season and are full of flavor. Use pears that have ripened to yellow but are still firm. Later in the season, try other varieties of pears and apples.
- 4 pairs of amaretti cookies
- ½ cup unbleached white flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon, freshly ground
- Pinch salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 medium apples
- 4 medium pears
- 1 tablespoon white sugar or brown sugar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Crush the amaretti with a rolling pin, leaving them in the paper wrappings as you do so. Leave plenty of texture in the crumbs rather than reducing them to a powder. Combine the amaretti, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces; then work it into the dry ingredients with 2 knives or your fingertips, until the texture is crumbly and beginning to hold together.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Peel the fruit and slice it thinly. Toss it with the sugar and lemon juice; then lay it in a 9-or-10-inch pie plate, or similarly sized earthenware or porcelain gratin dish. Cover the fruit with the crisp topping, and bake it for 30 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and the apples are cooked. Serve with cream whisked just enough to thicken it slightly, and flavored, if you like, with amaretto.
Nutritional information is based on 6 servings.