Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pear-Almond Crisp

Here is a nice autumn dessert. The almonds and pears’ mild flavors combine beautifully for a very delicate dessert. I happened to have a counter full of rapidly over-ripening pears, so a giant crisp was in order, but feel free to halve the recipe if you lack such a bounty.

Don’t peel the pears—the peels contain a fair amount of the pears’ flavor and aroma, and also help with structural integrity.

Pear Almond Crisp

Pear-Almond Crisp

Fruit filling:
About 12 pears (depending on size)
2-3 tsp cornstarch (more or less based on ripeness of pears)
4 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon
2 tbsp sugar or sweetener
2 Tbsp crystallized ginger, finely chopped

2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup oats (I used quick oats)
1/3 cup almond meal
2-3 Tbsp slivered almonds
2/3 cup sugar or sweetener
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cardamom
1/3-1/2 cup oil
½ tsp vanilla

Mix together all the dry ingredients for topping. Stir vanilla into 1/3 cup of oil and drizzle into dry ingredients while tossing with fork. Squeeze and toss with fingers until mixture looks and feels like crumbly wet sand, adding some or all of the rest of the oil if necessary.

Cut pears into half inch slices, then cut slices in half into chunks. Chop ginger and set aside. Whisk together rest of filling ingredients and gently toss with pears. Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking pan or casserole dish with cooking spray.  Pour pears into baking pan and spread out. Sprinkle ginger evenly over top, then sprinkle on topping mixture.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.

Makes 12 generous servings. 

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