Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pear and Ginger Crisp

A new delicious addition to my summer dessert lineup, this Pear and Ginger Crisp is easy to make and a sure pleaser for family and friends. It takes an old tried and true recipe (Apple Crisp) and kicks it up by adding spicy yet sweet ginger root and replacing the apples with D'Anjou pears. The recipe was provided to me by Lori Welker, a friend from high school that I reconnected with recently via Facebook. Lori had substituted the candied ginger root with powdered ginger as she could not find the candied version. I did find it, and after a few tries, came up a slightly modified recipe that increased the ginger substantially from the original recipe. With a little vanilla bean ice cream, it is especially delicious and exotic for your summer table.

  6    cups  pears -- about six pears, any good juicy variety will do
  1    tablespoon  lemon juice -- or about a half of lemon's worth
  1/3 cup  sugar
  2    tablespoons  candied ginger root -- finely chopped
  1    tablespoon  flour
 Streusel Topping  1     cup  flour
   3/4 cup  light brown sugar -- packed
   1/2 cup  rolled oats
   1/2 teaspoon  cinnamon
   1/4 teaspoon  salt
   2    tablespoons  candied ginger root -- finely chopped
    1/2 cup  walnuts -- chopped
    1/2 cup  butter -- unsweetened

Preheat oven to 350F and spray a casserole dish with food release.  Peel, core and slice the pears as evenly as possible, about 1/4" thick.  Toss with lemon juice.

Note:  To peel pears I use a standard potato peeler to remove the outer skin.  Then I slice each in half and use a melon baller to remove the central core.  Then I slide a paring knife on either side of the thin stem from woody exterior tip down to central core, and remove. Now they are ready to thinly slice.
Mix the sugar, ginger root and flour in a bowl.  Add to pears and toss to coat.

MIcrowave the pears for 6 minutes while you prepare the Streusel Topping, stopping once half way through to stir.

Combine all of the topping ingredients in a small bowl except for the walnuts and butter.  Stir to combine.  Cut the very cold butter into eight pieces and slowly cut into the strussel mixture with a pastry knife (or pulse with a food processor, or us a fork.)  Continue cutting in the butter until the mixture becomes course and is in small pieces. Stir in the chopped walnuts.

When the pears have finished their initial cooking, remove from the microwave and let cool.  Place them in the baking dish and cover with the Streusel Topping.  Bake for 45 minutes or so, until the pears are bubbling.
Remove from the oven and let cool.   Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or milk.

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