8 ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears (about 4 pounds)—peeled, halved, cored and
sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/3 cup coarse polenta (not instant)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a bowl, toss the pears with 1 tablespoon of the flour, the sugar and the vanilla. Spread the pears in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
In a food processor, pulse the remaining cup of flour with the pecans, brown sugar, polenta, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Add the butter and pulse just until clumps start to form.
Sprinkle the topping over the pears and bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the topping is browned and the pears are tender when pierced with a knife. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
The crisp can be covered and kept at room temperature for up to 1 day. Reheat the crisp in a 300° oven, loosely covered with foil, for about 10 minutes, or until heated through.