Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cardamom Cranberry Pear Crisp

Hey everyone, please welcome back my mom for her latest and greatest guest blog post with this phenomenal fall dessert (and I'm not just saying that because of my feelings towards cardamom...)

If you love autumn but are tired of the pumpkin spice craze that erupts in October, cardamom Cranberry Pear Crisp may be the recipe for you. It was easy to make following the usual directions involved with making any fruit crisp.

I was totally unfamiliar with cardamom but since it's Hilary's favorite spice I knew I had to give this a try. First of all to paraphrase Hilary, "People, you really need to go to World Market for your spices." Cardamom at my grocery store ranged from $9 to $12 but was $3.99 at World Market.

I would call this an "Adults Only" dessert. What I mean by that is the cardamom gives this crisp a spicy flavor that smells amazing as it bakes and the tart cranberries keep it from being overly sweet. This is something I could serve at Thanksgiving to break up the monotony of the usual pumpkin and pecan pies.

It did surprise me in October that I had to go to 3 stores to find cranberries, finally having success at Whole Foods. I would recommend using firm pears. Two of mine were more ripe than the others and were on the mushy side when the crisp was done. Since I'm not a big fan of the peeling, coring and slicing involved, I was please to discover my apple corer worked equally well on the pears.

When I make this again I will add chopped pecans in the topping and have some vanilla ice cream handy!

Cardamom Cranberry Pear Crisp
     from The Columbus Dispatch

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup oats (old fashioned OR quick cook)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

8 pears peeled, cored, and sliced
1 package (8 oz) fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs cornstarch

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9x9" baking dish with nonstick spray. To make the topping, in a medium bowl use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add the flour, oats, cinnamon and salt. Stir together until the mixture just form moistened crumbs and small clumps.

2. To make the filling, in a large bowl toss together the pears, cranberries, brown sugar, cardamom, salt and cornstarch. spread filling evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle to topping evenly over the filling. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the pears are tender and bubbling and the topping is well-browned.

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