A ‘Crisp’ Fall Dessert

For the record, this is not a food blog. How could we even begin to compete with all the marvelous food blogs out there? Nope, no way, not even gonna try. But we still, of course, like to share and swap good recipes and edible ideas with friends.
While we were at the local farmers market awhile back, Linda, who has a farm in Nances Creek and makes the most incredible jellies and jams, said to us, “It’s been a good year for pears.” Boy, has it. Our orchard is full of them — all kinds of bumpy, delicious, country pears — and we keep giving them away to everyone we meet. That includes our friend Wendell, who got a sack of them on his front porch a couple of weeks ago. I knew this foodie would do our humble fruit justice and he didn’t disappoint — a pear crisp! Perfect for fall. He shared the recipe, adapted from an apple crisp entry in Ruth Reichl’s A Gourmet Cookbook. But since we didn’t have all the right ingredients and wares on hand, we sort of improvised too. This dessert is easy to make and forgiving. (Wendell, here’s hoping we did you proud.) Enjoy!

Pear Crisp


For the Topping:

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

5-6 large pears (ripe or unripe)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2-3 tablespoons honey

Zest of 1/2 small orange


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a glass pie plate with butter or Crisco.

For the Topping:

Combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla in a bowl and mix with fork until well combined. Add melted butter. Stir with fork, then mix with your fingers. Set aside.

For the Filling:

Whisk together sugar and cinnamon. Peel and slice pears into about 1/2-inch slices. Toss pear slices with lemon juice and orange zest, then add the sugar mixture. Mix with your fingers until well combined.

To Bake:

Spread pears in pie plate and drizzle with honey. Crumble topping evenly over the fruit. Bake until topping is golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool a bit and serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream.

Serves 4-5


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