Warm Pear Buckle with Tangerine Cream


I know it’s January, and many of you are desperately trying to keep your healthy eating resolutions. Please don’t hate me. I’ve got a few decadent recipes that I tried out during my December baking frenzy, and between Christmas preparation and preparing to move out of state, these gems didn’t get posted.

So, I totally understand if you want to avoid my blog for a week or so. Really.

Let’s talk about buckles. Before I made this I didn’t even know what a buckle was. Buckles are part of the fruit-pastry dessert family (think: crips, cobblers, etc.) After searching online to see the differences among the different types of desserts, I’m still not sure what a buckle is. According to the sources I read, this dessert is more like a pandowdy. I like that. It’s more fun to say.

Pandowdy. Pandowdy. Pandowdy.

What this really reminded me of was a dessert version of a chicken pot pie. Instead of chicken filling, it’s got pears in a ginger-y sauce, and instead of pie crust, it has a softer version of a sugar cookie on top that “buckles” around the fruit as it bakes.

I made this for my husband’s graduation lunch. Well. . . dessert, after we had this soup and this soup. This dessert made me wonder why I don’t make fruit desserts more often. We loved it, and I especially loved the tangerine cream that topped it. Since tangerines and pears are still in season (for the most part), it’s really a rockstar fall/winter dessert recipe.


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Warm Pear Buckle with Tangerine Cream


For the buckle:
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar, divided, plus additional (for sprinkling)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 pounds firm but ripe Comice or Anjou pears, peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 1/2 T cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

For the Tangerine Cream:
1 cup chilled whipping cream
2 T fresh tangerine juice
2 T sugar
1 tsp finely grated tangerine peel


To prepare the buckle:
Whisk the first 3 ingredients together in a medium bowl. In a separate (larger) bowl, beat together butter, cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture; fold in just to blend. (Don't over mix.) Form dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours. TIP: The dough can be made a day ahead. Keep chilled.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix pears, cornstarch, ginger, and 2/3 cup sugar in a large bowl. Pour into a 9x13x2 baking dish.

Working quickly, roll out chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a sharp knife, cut out a 10x14 inch rectangle (slightly larger than the baking dish). Place measured dough on top of pears, tucking in overhanging edges. (Dough will shrink slightly, so don't worry if it seems a bit big.) Cut a few 1-inch slits on the top and sprinkle with sugar. Place on a rimmed baking sheet (in case it bubbles over a bit. . . mine didn't, but I was lucky.)

Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 40-50 minutes. It may take up to an hour. Watch the center of the dough to make sure it cooks all the way through. Cool 15 minutes before diving in. Serve with Tangerine Cream.

Discard remaining dough or throw it on a pan and bake it in the oven. Makes pretty good cookies. :)

To prepare the cream:
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat until peaks form. Chill until ready to use. (Don't make this too far ahead of time -- a few hours tops.)

Nat's Notes:
1. The original recipe suggested dividing the filling and dough among 8 1-cup ramekins. If you do that, divide the dough in half before chilling so it's easier to work with and cut circles a 1/2-inch larger than the ramekins. Bake at the same temperature for about 30 minutes.
2. This recipe was featured in Bon Appetit, and was adapted from a dessert served at Ford's Filling Station in Culver City, CA.

adapted slightly from Bon Appetit October 2010

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13 Responses to “Warm Pear Buckle with Tangerine Cream”

  1. #
    Christina — January 15, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    Oh yum! I love the idea of pears + ginger and citrus cream! I want to make this ASAP.

    No need to apologize for decadent dessert recipes :)


  2. #
    Sare — January 16, 2011 @ 2:20 am

    Pandowdy! I love it. Have you ever made a gallette, Nat? I bet you'd make some pretty gallettes.


  3. #
    Natalie @ Perrys' Plate — January 16, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

    Sare – Sadly I haven't ever made a dessert galette. I've made something similar, but it was this chicken enchilada tart thing. (I'm pretty sure it was galette instead. :))

    I just realized we never made creme brulee before I left :(. We'll have to do it when you come visit… only my torch is packed. Hmm… October? :)


  4. #
    Joanne — January 16, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

    I often wonder why I don't make fruit desserts more frequently. They are always so delicious and have at least a hint of nutritional value! I love the sound of this pandowdy. And I love saying pandowdy. Coincidence? I think not.


  5. #
    grace — January 18, 2011 @ 6:34 am

    dessert pot pie, pandowdy, buckle, what-have-you–delicious. the tangerine cream is an elegant and tasty touch!


  6. #
    Lauren's Latest — January 18, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

    My husband just bought 60 lbs. of pears, so this sounds like a great recipe to try! I'm running out of ideas!


  7. #
    danasfoodforthought — January 18, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

    This is the second post for a buckle I've seen today. I never knew what one was, but now I am definitely craving one! Yours sounds great!


  8. #
    Natalie @ Perrys' Plate — January 19, 2011 @ 12:35 am

    Lauren – Have you ever tried pear butter? I saw some recipes for it this fall. Sounded really nice with some ginger, too…


  9. #
    Sarah — January 19, 2011 @ 3:31 am

    I received several pears in my produce co-op order this week, so I was excited to see this recipe. I made it this evening and it was absolutely delicious! My 3-year-old used the leftover dough to make "cookies" and it kept him entertained for over 30 minutes. (Love your blog, stumbled on it when I saw your food pic on Pioneer Woman. So fun to see another LDS mom with young kids cooking healthful foods!)


  10. #
    Natalie @ Perrys' Plate — January 19, 2011 @ 4:50 am

    Sarah – Thanks for dropping by! It's nice to meet another LDS mom online :) Way to go with the produce co-op! I haven't started with one since we moved a couple of weeks ago, and I dearly miss it!


  11. #
    Maggie @ Vittles and Bits — January 20, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

    TANGERINE cream, oh my! This looks delicious!!


  12. #
    Charlotte — March 14, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

    This looks absolutely lovely and am dying to try and make it for my family! How many people does this recipe serve please? I'd like to try and adapt it for four.

    Thanks :-)


  13. #
    Natalie @ Perrys' Plate — March 14, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

    Charlotte – I believe it makes 8 good-sized servings. You could half it and bake it in an 8×8 pan to feed four generously. :)


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