Apple, Pear, and Cranberry Crisp

Some people are football fans. Some are not. Some like this team. Some like that one. Sports have the power to create bitter enemies. They can also bring people together–especially when food is involved. Yesterday a gaggle of my nearest and dearest gathered together to watch the Saints take on the Colts, but none of us were really that emotionally invested in the outcome (though we were all rooting for New Orleans, it was undeniable that it was a room primarily of Jets fans).

What really spurred everyone’s enthusiasm was the food that we ate. Our host provided killer chili and guacamole; others contributed the best soy-garlic fried chicken in the world, my favorite doughnuts in New York, and some other luscious pastries.  It was almost overkill that I brought this apple crisp–but luckily, my friends dug right in.

Apple crisp is without a doubt one of my favorite foods–my mom makes it nearly every time I come home because she knows I will devour half of it as soon as I see it.  Not too long ago, when I saw that Ina Garten had a recipe for an apple crisp that threw pears into the mix, too, I was sold. I used half the pears she suggests and threw in some cranberries to balance out the tartness. I was really pleased with the results.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 bosc pears (Ina uses 4)
  • 6 Macintosh apples (FYI–Ina says use Macouns but they aren’t in season right now)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • A good shake or two out of a bag of dried cranberries (maybe 1/2 cup or more)

And for the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 2 sticks of butter (1/2 pound), diced

Preheat your oven to 350. Peel and core the apples and pears and roughly chop them (I used a melon baller to core them, but you can also use a teaspoon or a small knife). Toss them in a bowl with the zests, spices, juices, flour, sugar, and cranberries and pour them into a baking dish.

In the meantime, blend together all of the ingredients for the topping. I used the paddle attachment on my, ahem, sweet new stand mixer, but you can use your fingers or a fork or a pastry blender (just make sure that you don’t over-handle the mixture with your hands–you don’t want the butter to melt). When it’s nice and crumbly rather than sandy-looking, it’s ready to go.

Spread that gorgeous topping over your fruit and bake it for 55 minutes to an hour–the top should be nicely browned and the fruit should be bubbling underneath. Let it cool a bit and serve it warm (with some ice cream, please).

I was in kind of a hurry to get to the party by kickoff, so I rode the (very crowded) downtown 4 train with this (very warm) treat in the bottom of a canvas shoulder bag that I held on my (very, very warm) lap, the smell of orange peel and cinnamon resonating around me. Let’s just say a few people looked confused, but nobody looked unhappy.

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One Response to “Apple, Pear, and Cranberry Crisp”

  1. Mamyte Says:

    A good provision to have on hand during a Nor’easter!

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