Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pear Cranberry Crisp

Warm, spicy, tart, sweet - this crisp has it all. I like a high topping to fruit ratio in my dessert and baking this in a shallow dish allowed for a good balance of crisp, sweet earthy crumbiness and soft, juicy fruitiness. What makes it special is the addition of candied ginger to the crumb mixture. 

This is a riff on the standard Betty Crocker apple crisp recipe that I've used for years. I don't think Betty would mind the liberties I've taken.

Pear Cranberry Crisp

2 - 4 large ripe pears, quartered, then cored and cubed (I left the peels on)
1/3 cup fresh cranberries (frozen are fine)

Place the fruit in a shallow baking dish, 8 x 8 inches, or equivalent. I should mention that in the above photo, I used only 2 pears because that's what I had, and because of the aforementioned desire for a high crumb to fruit ratio. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


2/3 cup brown sugar (packed) 
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1-2 Tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (if you use pre-ground nutmeg, increase to 3/4 tsp)
1/3 cup butter, softened

Mix all of the above in a medium bowl, using your fingers to achieve a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle over the fruit. Bake 30 - 35 minutes until the pears are tender and the topping a rich golden brown. Serve warm. 

Try it with some softly whipped cream, lightly sweetened, with a touch of vanilla. I didn't, and the dessert was wonderful, but I can imagine it would only be improved with the cream. 

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