Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pear Berry Crisp

Not everything that comes out of my kitchen is a well formulated recipe. Some days, a craving takes me and the next thing I know I am elbow deep into a dish without realizing it. This happened to me a few weeks back as I found myself with an abundance of pears from the yard, berries from the blackberry brambles, and a sweet tooth to boot.

By and large, making a crisp is easy. Insanely easy. Cut up some fresh fruit. Line the bottom of a baking dish with it. Throw some oats and spices on top. Bake until bubbly. Easy as pie...err, crisp I mean.

Let's call this my hodgepodge recipe. I have been making crisps for so many years, I no longer have a true recipe. However, like all good chefs I had to start somewhere so I listed one below for your pleasure. Enjoy!

Pear Berry Crisp

  • 3-4 large pears, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup berries of your selection, frozen or fresh
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats 
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3-4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Use a 8'x8' square baking dish or similar.

Toss the pears with the lemon juice. Next add berries, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix until everything is thoroughly coated.

Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, lining the bottom of the pan in one even layer.

For the topping - two methods are available. First option is to use a food processor to pulse together all of the topping ingredients. Second option is to mix the oats, flour, brown sugar, and spices together for the topping, then sprinkle evenly over the fruit, followed by sprinkling the butter pieces over the top. Either method works, the first simply incorporates the ingredients better. This time around I used the second method (call it laziness and less to clean).

Bake the crisp for about 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the pears are tender. The crisp should be nice and bubbly at this point. Let things cool a bit before serving. Vanilla yogurt tastes amazing on top of a warm plate of this!

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