Cindy's Pear Custard Bars

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Makes

16 to 16 servings

* PLUS Standing time: 45 minutes

I admit, we were dubious. Pear? But still, there was something about this recipe that made us want to try it. And are we glad we did! Creamy, almost like a cheesecake, these squares are positively irresistible. There were none left after the taste-off. Darn.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter , or margarine, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup macadamia nuts , chopped

Filling

  • 250 g cream cheese , softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 398-mL can pear halves , well drained and patted dry with a paper towel

Topping

  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease an 8 in. (20 cm) square baking pan.
  • First make the crust. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the flour and vanilla, just until combined, then stir in the nuts. Press into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool on a rack.
  • Increase the oven temperature to 375ºF (190ºC).
  • Now make the filling. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Pour over the baked crust. Cut the pears into 1/8 in. (30 mm) slices and arrange them in a single layer over the cream cheese filling.
  • Finally, make the topping. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the pears. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the centre is softly set. It will firm up as it cools. Cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting into squares. Store the pear bars in a covered container in the fridge.

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