12.20.2011

Pear, Cranberry, And Candied Ginger Crisps


Winter is a great time for pears, what I think of as the oft-overlooked fruit when it comes to baking. We're all so eager to bake with cherries, blueberries, apples, peaches, plums, and even pineapples that we forget about pears. Even I'm guilty of it. There's not a single pear dessert recipe on this blog... until now, that is.

I still had some pears left from the shipment USA Pears sent me -- even after I incorporated them into my pear and Roquefort salad -- and I thought it would be fun to work them into a warm pear crisp, which could double as dessert and breakfast. (Don't judge. I even eat chocolate cake for breakfast sometimes, and at least this has oats and fruit in it.)


I took one Bosc pear (known for its woodsy, honey-sweet flavor) and one Starkrimson pear (characterized by its smooth flesh and floral essence) and set them on the counter. Then I rummaged through the pantry and freezer for more supplies. Beyond the staple ingredients, I grabbed some frozen cranberries, walnuts, and candied ginger bits. My crisp was shaping up.


I sifted through some cookbooks and found a couple crisp recipes I liked. I took the best parts of each, combined them with the ingredients I knew I wanted to use, made some tweaks, and put together my recipe. I was so pleased with the results.

These crisps are subtly flavored and really highlight the pears, as opposed to drowning them in cinnamon or other spices (but if that's more what you're looking for, it's easy to mix some spices in too). (And if you want a bigger hit of ginger, feel free to double the candied ginger.) I always enjoy a sweet crisp topping in opposition to soft, juicy fruit in this sort of dish, and that's exactly the texture combination I got. And to make these simple crisps a bit more decadent, I drizzled bittersweet chocolate on top after letting them cool slightly.


Pear, Cranberry, And Candied Ginger Crisps (adapted from Baked and The Craft of Baking)
Printable version
Makes 4

Ingredients

Filling
2 pears, peeled, cored, and diced (I used 1 Bosc and 1 Starkrimson)
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flour

Topping
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 tablespoon ginger mini chips (or chopped candied ginger)
Melted bittersweet chocolate for drizzling (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the filling: In a medium bowl, mix together pears and cranberries.


Stir in sugar and flour. Set aside while making topping.

For the topping: In a medium bowl, toss flour and butter together using a wooden spoon.

Once butter is coated with flour, work oats and sugars in with your fingers.


Once mixture starts to clump together, work in the walnuts and ginger.

Place four 10-ounce ramekins on a baking sheet. Divide the fruit evenly among the ramekins.


Then sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit.


Bake crisps for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until fruit is tender, juices are bubbling and fragrant, and topping is golden brown.


Let cool 15 minutes.

Drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired, and serve. (Once cool, crisps can be wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated. Reheat in microwave or oven.)


Have you had any good pear desserts lately?

19 comments:

  1. This looks yummy. I tend to love pears all by themselves for the most part!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love a good crisp. I agree pears often get overlooked this time of year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like that you used two different kinds of pears. I think a crisp, crumble or pie is the best when it has different tastes and textures.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Starkrimson! Those were so good. These look fabulous, I love pear and cranberry

    ReplyDelete
  5. FunandFearlessinBeantownDecember 20, 2011 8:55 AM

    Minus the chocolate, I would be all over this dessert! I love a good fruit crisp!

    ReplyDelete
  6. You know I can't pass up an opportunity to throw chocolate in a dessert! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Crisps are so great for combining all sorts of goodness into one dessert! Love the chocolate drizzled over the top

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have! it was a really lovely pear / vanilla ice cream / hazelnut tart at a french restaurant in London. )
    These little ramekins are so cute, love the chocolate drizzle!

    ReplyDelete
  9. These look great! I love the addition of chocolate too. I made a pear cranberry crostata for Thanksgiving and used 3 types of pears, and really loved the flavor/texture differences. I think it adds a lot to a dish.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love eating pears but rarely incorporate them into desserts---I need to!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Mmmm, these look fantastic, and so festive!

    ReplyDelete
  12. So cute and perfect for the holidays! I don't think I have any pear dessert recipes on my blog either - I should work on that :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. This sounds so perfect for the holidays! I would definitely add that chocolate drizzle too ;)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sigh. I really really want to like pears. Really really. Their texture just doesn't do it for me. I don't think I've ever had them in a crisp though. Maybe that's the problem? Because this sounds so good to me!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ooh, yum!! I wish i had some time to whip these up tonight b/c they sound fantastic! definitely soon, though... i hope :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Amy (Savory Moments)December 22, 2011 6:49 AM

    Looks tasty and festive!

    ReplyDelete
  17. ooh, something like this would be so pretty in my new oval baking dish ;)
    Happy Holidays, darling!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. oooh this dessert looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Kristen | Pixelated CrumbDecember 24, 2011 9:08 AM

    This crisp looks fantastic! I agree, pears totally get overlooked. I love pears and I never end up buying them because I always seem to miss the short window when they're perfectly ripe. I need to get over it though, because I really love pear desserts and I really want to try this crisp!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment.