A pear, apple and cranberry crisp of course! Well, maybe that is not so obvious to everyone, but my good friend did recognize my limitations with respect to the Cinco de Mayo party she organized last week. When I asked her what I could contribute to the dinner menu she immediately gave my an assignment that she knew I could handle. Since she was already making a tres leches cake, I was tasked with making a fruit based dessert. Thankfully she did not ask me to make enchiladas!
Originally I wanted to make a strawberry rhubarb crisp but the fruit was not quite ready here as spring has made had a painfully slow start in our area. The grocery store looked more prepared for autumn than any other season. So, I went with a no fail recipe from Ina Garten, her pear, apple and cranberry crisp is one I have made many times and it always comes out delicious, and it is fast and easy!
The “hardest” part is peeling, coring and dicing the bosc pears and honey crisp apples (2 lb. each). The diced fruit is then mixed with the juice and zest of both a lemon and an orange. I used a blood orange as that was what I had on hand.
I added a full cup of cranberries, more than the recipe calls for but we like them, 1/2 cup of vanilla sugar and 1/4 flour.
Next came the cinnamon and freshly ground nutmeg. This is all mixed well in a large bowl and then put into a lightly greased 9 X 12 baking pan.
Up to this point you could argue that this is not too unhealthy of a dessert, however that is about to change. This fruit mixture is good, but it’s the crumble topping that is the real star of the show!
For the crumble combine the 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup vanilla sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 cup old fashioned oats. Then add the diced, cold butter (2 sticks, 1/2 lb)
Cut the cold butter into the dry components. Much like making a scone dough or pie crust, the goal is to have small pieces of butter throughout the mixture.
Cover the fruit, entirely, with the crumble topping.
Bake at 350ºF for 50 minutes to an hour. Make sure the crust is nice and brown and the fruit is bubbling.
I transported the crisp in the pan and we served it at my friends house for a nice ending to a great meal.
This is best served warm, but I will confess to eating it cold and having no problem! I have substituted different fruit combinations such as peaches and blueberries, plums and cherries and, of course, strawberries and rhubarb. They are all delicious using this same formula. Thanks to Ina for another awesome recipe and to my friend for opening her home to us!