Let’s talk a little bit about breakfast.
Dessert for breakfast, in particular.
I like my big bowl of oatmeal or plate of scrambled eggs as much as the next girl, but you have to admit that there’s nothing as satisfying as starting off the occasional morning with last night’s dessert. Chances are, that dessert contained something breakfasty like fresh fruit, eggs, or chocolate chips anyway. Add a tall glass of milk and you’ve got yourself a half-complete breakfast. And everyone knows that a half-complete breakfast is better than no breakfast at all, right?
The most recent dessert for breakfast at my kitchen table? Pear-Cranberry Crisp. A mighty fine cool weather Sunday dessert with vanilla ice cream, but an even better Monday morning breakfast with milk.
Why pear and cranberry? Local pears are finally in season here on the west coast. In fact, pears from the Sogn fjord just south of us are renowned for being some of the best in the country, and I made sure to hand-pluck the nicest of the bunch for my pretty little dessert. Sweet, fragrant, and perfectly “crisp”, these pears were a natural choice of fruit for crisp. After slicing up my pears, I tossed in a few ruby tart cranberries that have long-been stowed away in the freezer. You see, cranberries, much like canned pumpkin, pecans, and a handful of other favorite fall-flavor ingredients are just a few things that have to be hand-imported to these parts. And when you have a mere bag of cranberries and just two cans of pumpkin puree, you choose your recipes wisely. There’s no wasting these precious ingredients on potentially-disappointing dishes. No, mam, they get reserved for only the best of desserts.
Only the best, like this crisp.
Fresh fruit, cinnamon, and brown sugar- the flavors of fall in an inherited Corningware dish (and an extra ramekin since I went a little overboard with my fruit). Remember Grandma Larson. The lady responsible for those awesome Icebox cookies in my previous post? I baked my crisp in her pie plate. And along with her knitting needles and amethyst bracelet from Mexico, no one else gets to touch this pie plate. It’s like gold to me.
A crisp needs no explanation. It’s the kind of dessert that makes both kids and parents squeal with glee. It’s the kind of dessert so simple that you can whip one up while everyone else is digesting their Sunday night supper. It’s the kind of dessert that makes me wonder why I don’t make it every Sunday night. I’m already dreaming up next week’s crisp: cherry-plum? Lingonberry and apple? Wild blueberry pecan?
Whatever your favorite crisp flavor might be, give this pear and cranberry combination a go. Then tell me you don’t have a new favorite crisp.
Happy September everyone!
Pære og Tranebær “Crisp”
*Makes about 8 servings
For the Topping:
1/2 cup (50g) pecan pieces
1/2 cup (70g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (50g) oats, preferably old-fashioned rolled
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 50g) unsalted butter
For the Filling:
2.5 lbs (1 kilo) ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Grease a 9”baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, combine the pecan pieces with the flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, and oats. Cut in the butter with a fork until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.
3. Mix the sliced pears with the cranberries, sugar, flour, and spices. Pour the filling into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the topping over it.
4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the topping has become golden brown and crunchy, and the fruit is bubbly.