Pear, Vanilla Bean and Browned Butter Crumble
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter eight 6 to 8-ounce ramekins; set aside. For streusel mixture: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup flour, almonds, 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Using a pastry blender, cut in 3 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
- With the tip of a sharp knife, scrape seeds from inside of vanilla bean. Place in a small saucepan. Add the pod halves and 1/2 cup butter. Melt over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Continue to cook, without stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes or until butter becomes brown and fragrant. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, pears and pear brandy, if desired. Toss together until well mixed. Remove vanilla pods from butter and discard. Stir browned butter into the pear mixture.
- Spoon pear mixture into prepared ramekins. Sprinkle with streusel mixture.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired.