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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Harvest Fruit Pecan Crisp

It's that time of year again, where delicious autumn-harvest fruit is plentiful.  So plentiful, that we end up - invariably - having some last longer than we can eat them.

So it came to pass, that our fruit basket, once literally over-flowing with gorgeous pears and apples of all varieties, ended up looking a touch... scraggly recently.

That's my cue to bake something delightful.

The wife wanted to bake a pear cake.  But I reminded her that we are not 65 year old British ladies-who-lunch over tea and ladyfingers.  Surprisingly, she became upset.  She promptly exclaimed: "Fine!  You do something with them then!"

And so I did.

The following account is my reckoning of the leftover, slightly-worse-for-wear, apples and pears I just could not let go bad, and so turned into a fruit crisp.

Not really too sure on what constitutes the differences between a crisp, a crumble, and a cobbler.  I admit I also don't really care though...

So, if I'm calling this a crisp when you know in your indignant heart-of-hearts this is in fact more resemblant of a crumble... just please forgive my blunder.


I made a 'naturally-sweetened' (i.e. no added sugar) apple crisp/crumble a while back, so if you're interested, go check that out.  This time around, however, I opted to employ the full-on amazing power of delicious brown sugar.  :)

Anyway, here we go! 
I'll start with some sad pics of my sorry harvest fruit.

They were gorgeous in their prime, but that was weeks ago, sadly.

So, first things first.

Wash the fruit.  Remove seedy-centres.  Chop loosely (keeping the majority of the entire fruit) just to make it easier to throw in the blender.


Spread into large casserole/baking dish.

Looks like apple sauce.  I guess apple/pear sauce.  :)

Cover this with aluminium foil and BAKE (yes, just the puréed fruit) for about 20 - 30 mins at 400°.

Meanwhile, get started on the crisp/crumble/delicious sugary part.

Toast some crushed pecans (or other nuts) in a large pan.

Nuts, as always, are optional.  In fact, I'm usually NOT an incorporator of nuts in recipes.  But for whatever reason, I decided to throw some pecans in.

Melt some unsalted butter in a small pan.

Throw the toasted pecans into a large blender, with a good cup of brown sugar, and about the same (this varies, as we'll discuss later) amount of flour.

At this point, you can add your spices.  Cinnamon is - of course - a very well-accepted spice for this sort of thing, but today I've opted for some freshly-ground nutmeg.

So, all of these dry ingredients get about a half-dozen pulses in your blender, until reasonable mixed.

Now, drizzle your melted butter over the whole mixture, and pulse again for a few seconds.

Now, scrape this out into a medium mixing bowl, and - depending on its consistency (and moistness) - see if it will start to clump up.  If it is too dry to clump, simply add more butter.  If too wet to clump (as was mine) simply add more flour.

Once this mixture forms nice dry-ish clumps, it's ready to be sprinkled evenly over the recently baked fruit mixture.

Baking the fruit first allows for a lot of the juices to bubble up from the bottom.

So, sprinkle the crisp on top.

And then throw it in the oven, uncovered, for another good 20-30 minutes.  Until the flour mixture becomes golden brown.



As is my preference, I find this best served - warm - with some vanilla ice cream.