I love fruit crisps. There's just something about a warm fruit crisp with some ice cream that is pure comfort food to me. You can put one in the oven at the start of a leisurely supper, and it's ready to eat about 45 minutes later. They are not elegant, but so homey and delicious I think they are great for serving to guests. This recipe is a mish-mash of a Cook's Illustrated Pear Crisp recipe and an Epicurious Mixed Berry Crisp recipe. Feel free to change up the berries, or substitute apples for pears, or use different spices. —hardlikearmour
coarsely chopped almonds
dark brown sugar
freshly ground cardamom
unsalted butter, melted and cooled
rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1 to 1 & 1/2 teaspoons
freshly ground cardamom
medium pears (about 1.75 to 2 lbs) - Bartlett best, Anjou alternately
package frozen raspberries (do not thaw)
freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 & 1/2 teaspoons
rose water (optional - adds a subtle flavor which complements the cardamom and raspberries)
Preheat oven to 425º F, with rack in the lower middle position. Make the streusel topping: Pulse almonds, flour, sugars, spices and salt in bowl of food processor until well combined & nuts are finely chopped. (8-10 1-second pulses should do it.) Drizzle butter over nut mixture and pulse together until looks like wet sand, 5 to 6 1-second pulses, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after 3 pulses. Add oats and pulse to incorporate, about 3 1-second pulses. Set aside while you prepare the fruit filling.
Prepare the fruit filling: Mix the sugar, cornstarch, cardamom and salt in a medium to large bowl. Peel and core your pears, and cut into bite-sized chunks. Add to the bowl. Add your raspberries to the bowl, and mix well to coat fruit pieces with the dry ingredients. Sprinkle the lemon juice and rose water over the fruit and mix well to incorporate. Transfer filling to an 8-inch square baking dish or casserole with similar volume, and spread evenly.
Sprinkle streusel topping over fruit filling, crumbling up any large chunks. Bake for about 30 minutes (check at 25), until topping is nicely brown and filling is bubbling around the edges. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes, then serve warm.
NB: Make sure your cardamom is fresh, or the crisp will not be beautifully perfumed with it's flavor. I will typically taste a bite of the fruit filling after its mixed, then add more sugar and cardamom if I think it's lacking. With 1 teaspoon the cardamom is fairly subtle, if you would like the cardamom to be more prominent increase by 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon. I like my crisp fillings to be pretty tart, feel free to increase the sugar in the fruit filling by 2 T if you prefer a sweeter crisp.
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.