For Fall an Apple Pear Crisp

This may look like a Plain Jane dessert but the taste and texture are all you could desire in a dessert for these lengthening fall evenings.  Beyond peeling the apples it’s a quick recipe.  Commandeer volunteers to peel the apples and pears, use a potato peeler, so simple.  The recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.

Start with a mix of half apples (a mix of goldens, jongolds, a granny for tartness, pippins or empires) and pears (bartletts are best), 2 to 3 pounds to yield 6 to 8 cups of peeled, cored and sliced apples.  Your baking dish will determine the quantity – 8” square or 9” round baking dish for 2 -2 ½ pounds.  I use a 12” long oval baker for up to 3 pounds of apples.

Preheat your oven to 400 F and butter the baking dish.

Toss the apple slices with 1 tsp of cinnamon, juice of ½ lemon and 1/4 to 1/3 cup brown sugar.  Dump this mixture into the baker and spread evenly.  Now I like to sprinkle a tablespoon or so of Poire Williams, apple jack or Calvados over the fruit for a bit more depth of flavor – its optional.

Next combine 5 Tbs cold butter – diced, ½ cup rolled oats – reg or quick, ½ cup reg flour and ½ cup chopped nuts – in a food processor (a mini is best – easier to clean up) and pulse till mixed but still rough.  To mix by hand use a pastry blender, a fork, two knives or your fingers.

Spread the topping mix over the apples.  Bake for 30 to 45 mins until the topping is brown and the apples and pears are tender.

Serve hot, warm or room temp.  Serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.   This is why I keep the sugar on fruit low – I like the sweetness in the ice cream to contrast and complement the fruit.

Optional ingredients for the topping are:  unsweetened coconut about ¼ cup, dried currents, blueberries or raisins about ¼ cup.  Or whatever your imagination and taste buds are suggesting.

This recipe is based on one from Mark Bittman in How to Cook Everything

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