Friday, November 18, 2011

Dessert | Pear & Apple Crisp

Do you guys ever get too much sleep? I know it sounds silly, but I think I've gotten so used to sleeping lightly and being woken up by traffic and city noise that I rarely get truly deep sleep anymore. I live in a pretty central area of the city and for as much as I love my apartment and location, the one thing I would change would be the noise. It might sound like I'm exaggerating but my apartment is basically next to a freeway off-ramp so the noise is 24 hours a day and will often include semi trucks gearing up for a big uphill climb which can result in my entire building shaking to the point that you think "the big earthquake" has arrived. In short, it's terrifying and makes for a pretty poor night sleep.

It's not until you visit somewhere quiet that you realize just how bad your situation actually is/can be. This week I had the opportunity to have a 2 night staycation (aka house-sitting) in San Francisco with my best friends Henry and Taylor. Sleeping in a totally quiet space and in an incredibly comfortable king size bed makes for a remarkably relaxing experience! Who knew!?

Amongst wining and dining in our "new" neighborhood we found time to just zone out and relax to our favorite HGTV and Food Network programs, including The Barefoot Contessa (my personal favorite). With my mind and body totally relaxed I figured it would be a great time to make a beautiful dinner for Ryan and I. In the episode I watched, I caught a glimpse of Ina Garten's pear, apple & cranberry crisp, a hearty dessert that seemed just perfect for this time of year. I'm happy to say that Ina and her crisp did not disappoint. The original recipe included cranberries but I honestly didn't miss them.

PEAR & APPLE CRISP  |  Recipe inspired by Ina Garten: The Barefoot Contessa

2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)
2 pounds firm Macoun apples (6 apples)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced

1  |  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel and core the pears and apples and cut them into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and toss with the cranberries, zests, juices, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour mixture into ramekins. 

2  |  Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.

3  |  Place the baking dish on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.

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