The Ultimate Fall Dessert

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Ultimate Fall Dessert.  Those are powerful words. We all have our favourites.  And by claiming this one as the ultimate, I’m bound to invite all kinds of disagreements.

I stand undaunted.

If you know me well, or if you’ve read most of my posts, you’ll know that I adore fruit desserts.  That “fruit crisp” is a heavenly phrase, with few peers.  (“We’d love to publish your manuscript” and “You haven’t aged a day since university” would also be up there.)

If you know me well, you might also know that I own three Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.

So could The Ultimate Fall Dessert be anything other than a fruit crisp inspired by Ina Garten, a.k.a. The Barefoot Contessa?

This recipe called out to me immediately when I read it.  I bought pears from the local farmers’ market, and I bought apples from a friend’s orchard.  I love dried cherries and thought they might make a tasty addition.  They do!  I’ve scaled down the recipe a bit, but my version still makes quite a large crisp.  You can cut my recipe in half, and have a nice little crisp that bakes in 30 minutes.  About the same amount of time as it will take you to polish it off.  That is, if you agree that this is The Ultimate Fall Dessert.

Apple Pear Cherry Crisp

2 pears
4 apples (I used Cortlands, but any variety of cooking apple should work)
1 cup dried cherries
1 tsp grated orange zest
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg

For the topping:
2/3 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (not instant)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter

Preheat the over to 350 degrees.  Peel, core and cut the pears and apples into large chunks.  Add dried cherries.  Place the fruit in a large bowl and add orange zest, juice, ¼ cup sugar, 2 Tbsp flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Pour into a 12" x 9" baking dish.  (I used an oval pyrex baking dish.  This isn't a standard size, so feel free to substitute a 13" x 9" pan.  You might want to remove it from the oven five minutes early, but it shouldn't make much of a difference.)

For the topping, combine 2/3 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar and oatmeal.  Cut in the butter until the mixture starts to form small clumps.  Sprinkle topping over the fruit mixture, covering fruit completely.

Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, until the top is brown and fruit is bubbly.  Serve warm.


Barbara said...

No, Beth, you won't get any argument from me! This is definitely the ultimate. Thank you Beth and Ina! YUM!

Katerina said...

I love apples and the sweets made with them. I agree with you the ultimate sweet.

Tiffiny Felix said...

Oh, yum! I love the addition of the cherries. Super delicious :)

Valerie Gamine said...

Pears are so underrated, they really do deserve their time in the spotlight. This looks like the perfect dessert to show them off!

Claudia said...

Singing to me. Apples, pears and cranberries, oh my! I am in and will do. (I take direction well)

Victoria said...

I agree, fall fruit crisps are just delicious!! Also, they're so easy to put together :) Yum!

Unknown said...

Now doubt this was delicious

Jeanne said...

I do have to agree with you about this being the ultimate! Though I'm a bit of an apple crisp purist, I like the idea of the pears and cherries too!

Kristen said...

Apples just sing Autumn. This is a great comforting dessert.

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

I have to agree with you about this crisp. I have made the Ina recipe many times and it is wonderful. The next time I will add the dried cherries too. Sounds like a great addition!

Reeni said...

I like this twist on the apple crisp with pear and cherries! Completely delicious!

Smita Srivastava said...

Looks wonderful !!!

(fun food ideas for picky eaters )

Shandy said...

What a perfect Fall treat! Your kitchen must have smelled delicious filled with the aroma of apples, cherries, and spices.

Delicious Dishings said...

Ooh. I've never added dried cherries to an apple crisp... but I love that idea!

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic. Yes, it is a fabulous fall dessert, one which I would like to make. I want to add more pears, this year to my baking so this, with apples, pears and dried cherries fulfills my dreams.

Hanaâ said...

I love apple crisps. I usually like to add some dried cranberries to the mix. And of course, you gotta have warm spices. Warm too. Yum! (my mouth's watering now, might have to go home and start baking right away) :o)

Cakelaw said...

This does look like the ultimate fall (or any time!) dessert - fantastic!

Jessica said...

I don't love all crisps, but this version of a crisp looks particularly great. It must be Ina's influence! Or perhaps your love of crisps just yields perfect crisps?

Katrina said...

Love crisps. Love apple and pear. That had to have been yummy.

Anonymous said...

Love the combo, the texture and tartness of the fruit and that crispy sweet topping. My son, who lives out of the house now, still comes to get my crisp.... but he takes the whole pan, not just a plate!
Love this recipe and photo!

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