This is the time of year to embrace pears.  When the markets are not overflowing with an abundance of berries, peaches and plums or even crisp fall apples, citrus and pears seem to shine through the winter months.  I’m actually surprised I don’t eat pears more often because whenever I do, I love them.  They are so juicy and sweet.  Unfortunately their mild flavor and homely looks are easily overshadowed by the flashier seasonal fruits most of the year.  But this is a recipe that lets pears shine while also providing a healthy breakfast.  Oh yeah – and it tastes like pie (or cobbler, or crisp).

I’ve made a lot of different types of granola but I think this was the quickest and easiest of all the versions I’ve tried.  Thankfully, that did not translate to a mediocre outcome.  Ben and I both agreed that even on its own, this is very good granola and would be a great base recipe for all kinds of additions.  Layering the granola with warm spiced pears made for a wonderful breakfast.  And when Ben said, “I feel like I’m eating pie for breakfast!”, I had to agree.  The concept of this recipe could be adapted in tons of ways to accommodate different seasonal fruits and flavors but for now, I’m happy to let the pears take the starring role.

Ingredients

For the granola:
2 cups old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking)
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
½ cup ground flax seeds
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. kosher salt

For the pears:
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 medium pears, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tbsp. honey
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of coarse salt

Directions

  • 01

    To make the granola, preheat the oven to 300˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.  Combine the oats, pecans and ground flax seeds in a medium bowl; set aside.  In a saucepan, combine the butter, honey, and brown sugar.  Heat until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved.  Stir in the vanilla and salt.  Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture and stir well to coat.

  • 02

    Spread the oat mixture in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Stir well and return to the oven for 15-30 more minutes, until golden and crisp.  Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.  (The granola will continue to crisp as it cools.)

  • 03

    To make the pears, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sliced pears to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until some of the juices have been released from the pears and the edges appear slightly transparent.  Stir in the honey, vanilla, cinnamon and salt and toss gently until well combined.

  • 04

    To serve, add a layer of granola to serving dishes.  Top with warmed pears and sprinkle additional granola over the top.

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