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 I love how with every new season our taste buds are tantalized by new textures and flavors. I would venture to say apples and squash come to mind when most of us long for autumn’s harvest, but let’s not forget the delicious pear. A perfectly ripe pear is one of the great pleasures of fall eating. Pears are incredibly versatile, you can use them in almost any setting you would use apples, and they are a welcome respite from the apple and pumpkin heavy desserts usually featured in the fall and winter months.  

This crisp was inspired from a pear and ginger tart I used to make (I still don’t have a pastry crust recipe for my new diet that meets my standards). I also like this recipe because it doesn’t require a list of fancy ingredients and no one would ever guess its gluten and dairy free. You might be wondering if the ginger will overwhelm the pears, but they complement each other nicely and give your mouth an unexpected punch of flavor. I am usually a huge fan of using dark brown sugar, but in this setting I would recommend using light brown sugar. It seems the dark brown sugar overwhelms the delicate pear flavor. If, however, you’re like me and seldom have a bag of both dark and light brown sugars in your pantry don’t sweat it, the crisp won’t be inedible because you used dark brown sugar. I would also recommend using slightly firmer pears, they become quite soft with baking, and if you start with soft pears your crisp will be pretty juicy. Enjoy!

Gingerted Pear Crisp

Topping:

  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance, melted

Filling:

  • 6 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/4 cup cristalized ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tablspoons corn starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and core the pears. Slice them into 1/4 inch thick slices. Combine them with the ginger, cinnamon and sugar. Adjust the amount of corn starch you add to the firmness of your pears. If they’re firm go on the conservative side, if they’re soft to begin with use the full 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Gently toss all of the ingredients together and place in an 8 x 8 baking dish or shallow pie pan.

To make the topping, mix the oats, light brown sugar, cinnamon and almond flour together. In a small bowl melt the earth balance and combine it with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined but not to the point of being a sticky dough. Sprinkle over the pear filling.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the crisp is bubbling and the browned on top. Wait 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve warm with dairy-free whipped topping, dairy-free ice cream or all by itself.

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