Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cranberry-Pear Crisp with Almond Topping: A Twist on Tradition Thanksgiving Menu

Photograph © Scott Dorrance, excerpted from Dishing Up® Maine

Pears and cranberries have one of those synergistic relationships in which together they surpass the sum of their parts. Tart, juicy cranberries offset firmer, sweeter pears, and the crunchy almond topping ties everything together. Served warm, topped with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream melting into rivulets, this crisp is an ideal finish to an autumn dinner.

6–8 servings

2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold butter, cut into several chunks
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats (not instant oatmeal)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
5 cups peeled and sliced firm pears, such as Bosc or Bartlett (about 2 pounds)
2 1/2 cups (8 ounces) whole cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
Vanilla ice cream

  1. To make the topping, process the brown sugar, flour, and salt in a food processor with long pulses to remove any lumps in the sugar. Add the butter and pulse in short bursts until most of the butter clumps are about the size of lima beans. Add the oats and almonds and pulse once or twice to just combine. Don’t overprocess or the topping will be too uniform. (The topping can be made by hand by cutting the flour mixture and butter together. It can be made ahead and refrigerated.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease a shallow 2½- to 3-quart baking dish with butter.
  3. To make the filling, toss the pears with the cranberries and sugar. Spread in the bottom of the prepared dish and sprinkle on the topping, spreading to the edges.
  4. Bake, uncovered, until the pears and cranberries are tender and the topping is browned, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Serve hot or warm with scoops of ice cream. Note: If the crisp has cooled to room temperature, reheat in a 400˚F oven for about 10 minutes.

Recipe excerpted from Dishing Up® Maine © 2006 by Brooke Dojny. All rights reserved.

Go to: A Twist on Tradition Thanksgiving Menu for more great Thanksgiving recipes.

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