Fruit Crisps A to Z (Apple to Zucchini)-Autumn

Sunday October 16, 2016

About Fruit Crisps and Crumbles

If there is a dessert that appeals to all levels of bakers alike, beginning or experienced, country or city, old or young, it is the fruit crisp.  It is a fruit preparation that is as American as apple pie. You will never find an old fashioned crisp in a commercial bakery, it too much of a homey treat.

The Important Technique: Cutting In

Besides cutting the fruit, you only have one technique, and that is making the crumb top, cutting the cold butter into the flour and sugar dry ingredients.

Crumb tops have been around for a long time and they have a special name. Streusel. As a baker, this is one of the most basic and delicious preparations in dessert making.

Streusel (translating to sprinkle or “strew”) is an old German bakery term for a mixture of a solid fat, flour, and sugar that is combined to form loose crumbs.  Simple but flavorful, streusel is rubbed to combine rather than mixed or beaten.  It is probably one of the most beloved components to the baker, used liberally as a topping on all manner of pastries, coffee cakes, cookies, and pies to make a top layer that bakes into a type of rustic crust.  Clump it together and you have the classic crust for cheesecakes that you pat into the pan. Add liquid and you have the base for short pastry pie doughs, biscuits, and shortcakes.

The technique is for a cold solid fat (not oil) to be combined with dry ingredients until the mixture is the consistency of small pieces.  The fat must be well chilled to hold its shape and worked quickly so it will not melt but stay in clumps and shards.

To accomplish this there is a wide range of tools from which to choose. Fingers work great; just quickly rub the mixture between the tips of your fingers.  The next best is an old-fashioned pastry blender or a fork, pressing the butter pieces against the bottom of the mixing bowl.  The mixture is transformed in a very short time, a few minutes really, to one where the chunks of butter become the size of peas.  Starting baking I always used the pastry blender but when the stand mixer, then the food processor, came into my kitchen, I started using them instead (all you need are a few pulses or a few minutes on low speed, otherwise you can end up with a soft block instead of a crumbly mixture).  Now in my more mature years, I find I am enjoying the old pastry blender again, taking a few minutes more with the preparation and connecting experientially with my creation.  I save the mixer and food processor for large quantities though, or when I am in a hurry.

If the butter is soft or melted, you will end up soaking the sugar and flour instead of distributing bits of butter; you will never get crumbs this way. The result is more a loose to tight ball than crumbs.  If this happens, not to worry. Place the mass in a bowl and refrigerate or freeze until firm. Break off bits with your fingers and lay on top of the fruit. It will have more of a cobbled effect and bake up more firm than the crumbs, but will still taste good.

Adapted from The Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, this recipe makes enough for 5 cups of fruit, or enough to fill an 8-by-8-inch pan.

Ingredients

½     cup (1.5 ounces) regular rolled oats (i.e., not quick-cooking or super-thick)

½     cup (3.5 ounces) packed brown sugar

¼     cup (1.75 ounces) all-purpose flour

¼     tsp. ground nutmeg, ginger, or cinnamon

4      Tbsp. (½ stick) cold butter

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or your hands until the butter is in pea-sized chunks. Use immediately or freeze indefinitely.

2. When ready to bake, scatter the frozen mixture atop lightly sweetened fruit in a 2-quart baking pan and bake for 35 minutes (for fresh fruit) or for 40 minutes (for thawed fruit) at 375 degrees or until the top is nicely browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Crisp Topping

My favorite desserts are made from fruit, and my go-to fruit dessert is a crisp. You can make crisps using apples, peaches, pears, mangoes, berries and even rhubarb! This recipe makes enough topping for an 8 x 8 baking dish full of fruit, however, I usually double the recipe and freeze what I don’t use. Then if I need a last minute dessert I can prep the fruit, pull out the bag of streusel, measure out as much topping as I need, add a complementary spice or two to the streusel and in 15 minutes I’ve got dessert in the oven. (Larger image.)

Ingredients:

* 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed firm

* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

* 1/2 cup quick cooking oats

* 1/4 tsp. salt

* 4 Tbsp. butter, chilled, cut into small pieces

* 2 Tbsp. organic shortening (such as Spectrum), chilled, cut into small pieces

Directions

1. Mix together dry topping ingredients in the workbowl of a food processor by pulsing several times.

2. Add butter and shortening and pulse about 10 times, then process 5 to 10 seconds until there are no visible lumps of fat.

Note: This recipe doesn’t include any spices because I add them when I use the topping based on what fruit I’m using. For instance, cinnamon and nutmeg for apple crisp, cardamom for peach crisp, and coriander for blueberries.

David Liebowitz Polenta Crisp Topping

I use the coarsest polenta available, although you can use stone-ground cornmeal or even ‘instant’ polenta which is the mostly commonly available in Paris.
This Polenta Crisp Topping is enough to cover a 2-quart (2 liter) baking dish of fruit filled with about 8 cups (2 kg) of sliced and sweetened fruit. Some favorite combinations are peaches and nectarines with berries or big-’ole Bing cherries, tangy fresh apricots tossed with sour cherries, Gravenstein apple slices heaped with blackberries, and rhubarb with raspberries, which I like in place of the usual strawberries.

Making the recipe is pretty straightforward and is easily whizzed up in your blender or food processor. If you don’t have either, you can chops the nuts by hand and use your fingers or a pastry blender to make the crisp topping. And although I often recommend toasting the nuts in advance, sometimes I don’t feel like firing up the oven and just add them as is. Since they’re getting toasted again, that might be a bit redundant.3/4 cup (105 g) flour

Ingredients

2/3 cup (90 g) coarse polenta
3/4 cup (80 g) almonds or walnuts
1/2 cup (90 g) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
nice pinch of sea salt
4 ounces (1 stick, 115 g) unsalted butter, well-chilled

Directions
In a blender or food processor, pulse the flour, polenta, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until the nuts are in smaller pieces. Cut the butter into chunks and pulse in the machine until the butter is finely broken up and the mixture no longer looks sandy and is starting to stick and clump together.

Distribute crisp topping over prepared fruit and bake until fruit is bubbling and cooked underneath, and the topping is deep-golden brown. (Plunge a sharp paring knife in the fruit to feel if it’s cooked through.)

Note: You can store the mixture in a zip-top freezer bag for a month or two, or refrigerate it for up to one week.

A Fruit Crisp Glossary

Sometimes it’s the topping that distinguishes one style of baked fruit dish from another. Here’s a rundown of what defines each style of these endlessly versatile dishes.

Crisp: One of the most common fruit desserts, the crisp boasts a topping made primarily from oats and nuts. Nearly any seasonal fruit works well. Though crisps and crumbles are often interchangeable, this dessert traditionally has more going on in the topping than the crumble does, and, as the name suggests, it gets a little crispier when baked.

Crumble: Not to be confused with a crisp (though they often are), this dessert has a simple streusel topping – essentially butter, flour, sugar and a little seasoning – that is sprinkled over the fruit of choice. When baked, the crumbled topping hardens and browns while simultaneously melting into the fruit underneath.

Cobbler: A baked deep-dish dessert with the dough on top rather than the bottom. The topping is normally a sweet cream or buttermilk biscuit, while the fruit usually is berries or stone fruit – even savory fillings like winter squash can work (see recipe). In some versions, the biscuit dough is rolled and cut into circles to place on the fruit, allowing some of the filling to peek through; in others, the dough is spread across the surface, hiding the fruit beneath.

Grunt or slump: Essentially a steamed cobbler, this fruit-and-dough combination is cooked on the stove as opposed to being baked. The dough – which resembles a dumpling batter – is dropped in spoonfuls over simmering fruit. As for the name? It can be either a grunt or slump, depending on where you live; the origins are said to trace back to different parts of New England. Some say the dish makes a grunting sound on the stove as it steams and bubbles; others claim that the dessert has a slumped appearance when spooned onto a plate.

Pandowdy: Said to be named for its homely appearance, this deep-dish dessert starts with a base of almost any fruit. Toppings can range from rolled-out pie or pastry dough to biscuit, but the catch is that about halfway through baking, the topping is broken up into pieces and pushed down into the cooked fruit, allowing some of the juices to bubble up and over the dough.

Buckle: Baked as a one-layer cake, this dessert is normally made by floating berries into batter, then sprinkling streusel crumbles on top. When it comes out of the oven, the cake has a buckled look – hence the name. With a loose, almost pudding-like batter, this has a very moist crumb, and works just as well for brunch as for dessert.

Brown Betty: This layered dessert is all about crumbs – breadcrumbs, that is. The fruit of choice – most often apples or pears – is placed in alternating layers with buttered, toasted crumbs, which either soften along with the fruit or harden up on top of the dessert. Leftover cake or pastry crumbs would work, too.

Calendar: Autumn

Due to multiple geographic and weather influences the physical seasons may overlap, and they show the effects of microclimates. However, speaking seasonally allows us to think in a general way about locally grown fruits and vegetables. Fall is sometimes called the “crossover season”This means fall is a very abundant season, with multiple choices available for cooking from scratch.

SEPTEMBER:  the first homegrown Rome Beauty apples and Red Bartlett pears; late strawberries; raspberries; blackberries; late crop figs; Asian pears; local Concord and Muscat grapes; wine harvest; melons; loquats; lemons; peaches; late summer squashes and tomatoes; pumpkin and sunflower seeds; California passion fruits; peppers; table corn; Mission and Ascalano olives; Minnesota, Idaho, and California machine and hand-harvested wild rice; organic Maine potatoes; Canadian, North Dakota, and Montana hard spring and durum wheat harvest (the best for breads and pastas); New York soft spring wheat harvest; New Mexico white corn harvest; Oregon oat harvest; Nebraska popcorn; Colorado quinoa harvest; California San Joaquin Valley white, red, and durum wheat harvest; North Dakota buckwheat harvest

OCTOBER:  end of berries; pomegranates; coconuts; Asian pears; Hachiya and Fuyu persimmons; apples; pears; prickly pears; guavas; fresh walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts; quince; dates; pumpkins; winter squash; sweet potatoes and yams; raisins; wild mushrooms; Hawaiian macadamias; New Mexico red chile harvest; New Mexico yellow, red, and blue corn harvest; California white, brown, and variety rice harvest; Rhode Island Narragansett White Cap corn harvest (best for johnnycakes)

NOVEMBER:  Maine, Canadian, and Northwest cranberries; sweet potatoes and yams; butternut squash; Red Anjou and Comice pears; Marsh white and Ruby Red grapefruit; kumquats; Hawaiian macadamias; fresh chanterelles; first Arizona and New Mexico piñon nut harvest; Southern and Southwest pecan harvest; California and Southwest pistachio harvest; fresh imported Italian chestnuts; fresh Washington chestnuts

Cranberry Basics

In Season: Fresh cranberries are available from October through December. Some markets also carry frozen cranberries year-round.

What to Look For: Look for bright-colored, firm cranberries in the produce section. Avoid bags that have brown or shriveled berries at the bottom.

How to Store: Store in the original packaging for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, or up to one year in the freezer. To prep, rinse and discard any discolored or soft berries; if frozen, there’s no need to thaw before use.

Fresh Cranberry Apple Crisp with Orange Hard Sauce

If you love fruit crisps, you will adore this version of apple crisp with cranberries for the holidays in place of a pie. There is a luscious orange-flecked hard sauce that melts into a pool flooding the warm crisp. Hard sauce is often relegated to serving with heavy steamed puddings, but we love the silken quality it adds to this not-so-humble crisp. Good enough for company.

Serves 6

Fruit Filling
1 1/2 pounds (4 to 5) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

3/4-inch thick
1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) fresh cranberries

1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar

Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Topping

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom or allspice
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Orange Hard Sauce
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
Grated zest of 1 large orange

Preheat the oven to 375º.  Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish, such as a 9-inch square pan or ceramic gratin dish.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the apples, cranberries, 1/4 cup brown sugar, lemon juice and ginger. Toss gently to mix. Turn mixture into the prepared baking dish, pressing down gently with a spatula to form an even layer.

To make the topping: In another bowl, combine the flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and cardamom. Using your fingers, a pastry blender, or two forks, cut in the butter pieces until the mixture just holds together but still looks crumbly. Sprinkle an even layer of topping over the fruit.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling-hot and tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Serve hot or warm with a spoonful of the hard sauce on the side, letting it melt into the fruit.

To make the orange hard sauce: Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the orange juice, liqueur, and orange zest. Scrape into a small bowl and serve at once, or refrigerate, covered. Let sauce return to room temperature before serving. Makes 1 cup.

Betty Crocker Apple Crisp

4          medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)

3/4       cup packed brown sugar

1/2       cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour

1/2       cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

1/3       cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4       teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4       teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cream or Ice cream, if desired

1.         Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.

2.         Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except cream until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.

3.         Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with cream.

Apple Crisp for One

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 large tart cooking apple, peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced 3/4-inch thick

2 tablespoons unsweetened unfiltered apple juice or water

Topping

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour or gluten free flour mix

4 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and nutmeg

1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375º (350º if using Pyrex).  Place the sliced apples in an even layer into a shallow, unbuttered ramekin or 8 ounce dish. Pour over the apple juice.

Place the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon/nutmeg in a small bowl.  Cut in the butter pieces with your fingers, until the mixture just holds together and looks crumbly. (Can be made the day ahead and refrigerated in a covered container.)

Sprinkle the fruit evenly with all of the topping.  Bake in the center of the oven until the topping is golden and the fruit is bubbling and tender, about 20 – 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

St. Michael’s Alley Apple Crisp

When I was baking at St. Mike’s, we made this almost every single day. Barbara Hiken brought in the recipe. When we came in the next morning, usually there was nothing left but an empty unwashed dish.

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 1/2 to 3 pounds (6 to 9 large) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced 3/4-inch thick

1/2 cup unsweetened unfiltered apple juice

Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375º (350º if using Pyrex).  Place the sliced apples in an even layer into a shallow, unbuttered 9-by-13-inch baking dish or 2-quart casserole dish. Pour over the apple juice.

Place the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Cut in the butter pieces with your fingers, a pastry blender, or pulse in a food processor until the mixture just holds together and looks crumbly. (Can be made the day ahead and refrigerated in a covered container.)

Sprinkle the fruit evenly with all of the topping.  Bake in the center of the oven until the topping is golden and the fruit is bubbling and tender, about 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pillsbury’s Apple Crisp with Butterscotch Streusel

Ingredients

Filling:

* 8 cups peeled Granny Smith apples

* 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice from ½ medium lemon)

* 1 cup sugar

* ½ cup flour

* 2 teaspoons cinnamon

* 1/8 teaspoon salt

* Butter

Butterscotch Streusel Topping:

* 1 (11-ounce) package butterscotch chips

* ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

* 1½ cups flour

* ¼ teaspoon salt

* ¼ teaspoon mace

Equipment:

* Vegetable peeler

* Double boiler

* 9 × 13-inch baking dish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Measure out the dry ingredients for filling and topping before peeling and slicing the apples. Peel and slice the apples and toss with lemon juice in a large bowl. Add dry filling ingredients to the apples and toss. Spray a 9 × 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and spread the apple mixture over the bottom. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the apple filling is baking, melt the butterscotch chips and butter in a double boiler until smooth. Add the dry topping ingredients with a fork so mixture becomes crumbly. Crumble topping over the hot apple mixture and bake an additional 25 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Serves 12.

Notes
For cooking and baking, it is best to use apples that remain flavorful and firm, such as Baldwin, Cortland, Northern Spy, Rome Beauty, Winesap, York Imperial or Granny Smith.

Ina Garten’s Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp with Citrus

Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients

* 5 pounds (about 15) McIntosh or Macoun apples

* Grated zest of 1 orange

* Grated zest of 1 lemon

* 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

* 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

* 1/2 cup granulated sugar

* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:

* 1 1/2 cups flour

* 3/4 cup granulated sugar

* 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

* 1 cup oatmeal

* 1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 14 by 2-inch oval baking dish.

Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with the zests, juices, sugar, and spices. Pour into the dish.

To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the apples.

Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm. Recipe: 2002, Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Rancho LaPuerta Fruit Crisp

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

*3 or 4 pears, apples, peaches or nectarines

* 2 tablespoons maple syrup

* 1/4 cup dried cherries, currants, or raisins

* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and mace or nutmeg

* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:

* 1/3 cup each chopped almonds, chopped pecans, and chopped walnuts

*2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour

* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and mace or nutmeg

* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

* 1 cup rolled oats or nut free granola

*2 tablespoons wheat germ

*2 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup

* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

16-ounces vanilla yogurt for serving

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 12 by 2-inch square baking dish or 8 ramekins. On a baking sheet lined with parchment, toast the nuts until golden. Mix the nuts in a bowl with the rest of the topping ingredients. Set aside.

Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with the maple syrup, dried fruit, and spices. Arrange into the dish. Sprinkle with the nut topping mixture.

Place the crisps on a sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the top is brown and the apples are tender. Serve warm with the vanilla yogurt.

Maple Apple Crisp

Ingredients:

5 apples (Granny Smith, Fuji, Winesap, Honeycrisp, Crispin or Pink Lady)  – peeled, cored, and sliced

3/4 cup pure maple syrup (Grade B or Grade A medium or dark amber)

Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 pinch sea salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Place apples in an 8×8 inch baking dish. Toss apples with maple syrup. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, oats, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over apples.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, until topping is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Microwave Apple Crisp

“I don’t usually like ‘baking’ with the microwave, but this recipe works great. The topping comes out crispy on top, moist inside, and delicious all around. It’s a wonderful dessert that’s quick and easy to make. Best served warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.”

INGREDIENTS

* 4 large Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced

* 1/2 cup butter, melted

* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar

* 3/4 cup quick cooking oats

* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* 1/2 teaspoon allspice

1. Spread the apples evenly in an 8 inch square glass baking dish. A deep dish glass pie plate will also work. In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon and allspice. Sprinkle this topping evenly over the apples.

2. Cook on full power in the microwave for 10 to 12 minutes, until apples can easily be pierced with a knife. Enjoy!

Crumb-Topped Apple Slab Pie

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
8 – 10 tablespoons cold water
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 1/2 pounds tart cooking apples (such as Rome Beauty or Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (10 cups)
Crumb Topping

Directions

Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with 18-inch-wide foil, extending the foil up over the edges of the pan; set aside.

For dough: In a large bowl, stir together the 2-1/4 cups flour and the salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cold water over part of the flour mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon cold water at a time, until all of the flour mixture is moistened. Using your fingers, gently knead the dough just until a ball forms.
Preheat oven to 375F. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 19×13-inch rectangle. Wrap it around the rolling pin; unroll it into the prepared baking pan. Ease dough into the pan and up the sides, being careful not to stretch it. Trim dough to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pan. Fold dough edge over and flute as desired.
Filling: In an extra-large bowl, combine sugar, the 1/3 cup flour, and the cinnamon; add apples. Toss lightly until apples are coated. Spoon apple mixture into dough-lined pan; spread evenly. Sprinkle with Crumb Topping (pan will be full).
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender. If necessary to prevent overbrowning, cover top with foil for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking. Cool slightly in pan on a wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely. Cut into rectangles. Makes 25 servings.

Apple and Quince Crisp with Rum Raisins

If you’ve never cooked with quince before, here’s a great intro. It tastes like a cross between an apple and a pear.

Servings: Makes 12 servings

Ingredients

Rum Raisins

* 1 1/2 cups raisins

* 1 cup dark rum

Crisp Topping

* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

* 2 cups all purpose flour

* 1 cup sugar

* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling:

* 4 cups water

* 3 1/2 cups sugar, divided

* 2 pounds quinces (about 5 medium), peeled, quartered, cored

* 4 large green cooking apples, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

* 1 tablespoon all purpose flour

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Preparation

For rum raisins:

Simmer raisins and rum in small saucepan 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Ignite with match; let flames burn out, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer 2 tablespoons liquid to small bowl for crisp topping.

For crisp topping:

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer until butter is golden brown, about 6 minutes. Cool.

Mix flour, sugar, nutmeg, and salt in medium bowl. Add browned butter and 2 tablespoons reserved liquid from rum raisins; stir until moist clumps form. DO AHEAD Raisins and topping can be made 1 day ahead. Cover each; chill.

For filling:

Combine 4 cups water and 3 cups sugar in large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add quinces; simmer until tender, 15 minutes. Remove from syrup; cool. Reserve syrup for another use. Cut quinces into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to large bowl. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Add apples, lemon juice, flour, salt, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and rum raisin mixture to bowl with quinces; toss to blend. Transfer to baking dish. Crumble topping over.

Bake apple and quince crisp until golden and bubbling, about 55 minutes. Cool at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with softly whipped cream or ice cream.

Fuyu Persimmon Crisp

Scholars believe that persimmons were the fruit actually referred to in biblical writings as the apple in the Garden of Eden.

Ingredients

filling:
5-8 fuyu persimmons
1 tangerine or small orange
1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
sprinkle of nutmeg

topping:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º

Peel core and slice persimmons. Put them in a bowl and add the zest of the tangerine and half of the lemon. Add the juice of the lemon and tangerine plus the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix and place in baking container.

In the bowl of an electric mixer place the flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt, oatmeal and butter. Run the paddle on low until the butter is in small pieces about the size of peas. Cover persimmons with topping.

Bake at 350 for an hour until top is golden brown. Serve with whipped cream.

Apple, Persimmon and Ginger Crumble

Servings: 6

4 large tart apples, such as Granny Smith
3 large Fuyu persimmons
2 Tbsp finely chopped crystallised ginger
Topping

1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold butter
3 Tbsp plain flour
1 cup of rolled oats
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup roughly chopped almonds or hazelnuts (optional)

Peel and core the apples and peel the persimmons, then slice the fruit into 1-3mm slices. Don’t be too fussy about uniformity – it’s more interesting to have a mix of smaller pieces that will cook down and disintegrate, and larger pieces that will remain intact to provide a textural contrast. Place the fruit in a medium saucepan, add the chopped crystallised ginger and a dash of water. Cover, bring to a simmer over a medium-low heat and cook until the fruit has softened and is beginning to break up – about 10 minutes. Give the fruit a stir once or twice to ensure the fruit is cooking evenly.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. While the fruit is cooking, prepare the topping. Place the butter and flour in a medium bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips. The ratio of butter to flour means that it won’t amalgamate uniformly, so just ensure it is roughly combined with small pieces of butter remaining. Add the oats, brown sugar, spices and nuts (if using), rubbing the mixture together until incorporated.

Once the fruit has softened, transfer to a shallow baking dish and spread evenly over the bottom. Top with the oat mixture and place the dish in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the oats have browned. Eat warm with a drizzle of cream or custard, or cold with unsweetened Greek yoghurt.

Persimmon and Pear Crumble with Fresh Ginger and Cardamom

Serves 6

Topping

1 cup rolled oats (quick-cooking or old fashioned)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

6 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

Filling

8 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick

3 to 4 firm-ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2-inch thick

1/2 cup orange or tangerine juice

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

Preheat the oven to 375º (350º if using Pyrex).  Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or 2-quart ceramic dish and set aside.

Place the oats, flour, sugar, and cardamom in a bowl.  Cut in the butter pieces with your fingers, a pastry blender, or pulse in a food processor until the mixture just holds together and looks crumbly.  Set aside or refrigerate in a covered container.  Can be made the day ahead.

Place the sliced persimmons and pears in the prepared dish.  Combine the  orange juice, sugar, and ginger in a measuring cup; stir, then pour over the fruit.  Sprinkle the fruit evenly with all of the crumbly topping.

Bake in the center of the oven until golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature.  Serve with a dab of mascarpone cheese with some heavy cream stirred it.

Raspberry, Apple and Mango Crumble

Ingredients:

1/3 cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided use

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

small pinch sea salt

1/4 cup oats

3 1/3 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces

Filling

1/2 ripe mango, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup raspberries

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and sliced

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2/3 tbsp fresh lime juice

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350º. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and oats. Mix the butter in with fingers, until the oat mixture forms clumps. Cover and refrigerate till required.

Put the mango, raspberries, and apples in a bowl. Add remaining 1 tbsp flour, granulated sugar, and lime juice; toss gently to combine.

Transfer fruit to a shallow 6” round or oval gratin dish. Distribute topping (oat mixture) evenly over the fruit.

Bake until topping is golden brown and juices bubble (about 40 minutes).Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm with ice cream.

Bountiful Blackberry Cabernet Crisp

Ingredients

FILLING
6 cups blackberries
1 cup cabernet sauvignon red wine
1 cup sugar
½ cup flour
TOPPING
½ cup flour
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
½ cup old fashioned oatmeal
WHIPPED CREAM
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375º. Butter a 2-quart baking dish or several small dishes.
Filling: In a bowl, combine all the filling ingredients. spread the mixture in the baking dish.
Topping: In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Using your fingertips, pinch the butter pieces into the flour until crumbly. Add oats and work with your fingertips until evenly mixed. Spread over the filling.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden. Remove and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. top with whipped cream.
Whipped Cream: Whip together the cream, honey, vanilla and powdered sugar until soft peaks form.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Almond Streusel (slightly adapted from The Craft of Baking)

Ingredients

FRUIT
4 cups diced rhubarb
2 cups hulled and halved fresh strawberries
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour

STREUSEL
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup (4oz) chopped almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

Directions

FOR THE FRUIT:
In a large bowl, mix together the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar and flour.  Let the mixture stand at room temperature until juices begin to draw out from the fruit, about 30 minutes.

FOR THE STREUSEL:
Combine flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, almonds, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Mix just to combine.
Add the butter and mix just until the streusel comes together.
Spread onto a baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 15 minutes.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pour the fruit and juices into an 8-inch square baking dish.
Crumble the streusel with your fingers to top the fruit.
Place the baking dish on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, and bake, rotating the sheet half-way through, until fruit is tender, the juices are bubbling and thickened, and the topping is browned, about 40 minutes.
Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let the crisp cook for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Asian Pear Crisp with Warm Spices

Asian pears are crisp and perfectly juicy when eaten raw. They cook up nicely, too, as in this Asian Pear Crisp. Any pear will work in this recipe – Anjou and Bosc are particularly good for baking. A bit of garam masala and warm cardamom gives this crisp a little spicy kick, but feel free to leave it out and use cinnamon in their place if you (or your spice rack) is so inclined. Similarly, the whole wheat pastry flour adds a hearty, nutty note, but an equal amount of all-purpose flour or rolled oats works just as well. Like all fruit crisps, this one is delicious with ice cream or whipped cream on top or along side.

Ingredients:

Filling

6 Asian pears (or Anjou, Bosc, or Comice pears)

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup brown sugar, divided

1/4 tsp. garam masala

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/8 tsp. salt

Topping

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

6 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375. Quarter, core, peel, ad chop pears. Put pears in a large bowl and toss with vinegar. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar, spices, and salt and toss to combine thoroughly. Dump pears into a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar. Add butter and cut or work butter into flour mixture (this can be done with your fingers, a pastry cutter, or fork). Note that you can pulse this mixture a few times in a food processor to great effect.

Spread flour mixture over pear mixture. Bake until center fruit mixture is bubbling and top is browned and yummy looking, about 40 minutes. Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm. Makes 6 to 8 servings

Winter Rhubarb Peach Crisp

Rhubarb adds fresh, tart flavor to compotes, crisps, and pies. Serve this dish warm with low-fat vanilla ice cream, vanilla yogurt, or low-fat whipped topping.

Makes 10 servings

Ingredients

* 2  (16-oz.) packages frozen sliced rhubarb, thawed

* 1  (20-oz.) bag frozen peaches, thawed

* 1 1/2  cups  granulated sugar

* 3  tablespoons  lemon juice

* 1 1/4  cups  all-purpose flour, divided use

* Vegetable nonstick cooking spray

Topping

* 1/3  cup  uncooked quick-cooking oats

* 1/3  cup  firmly packed brown sugar

* 1/3  cup  cold butter, cut into small pieces

Preparation

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; add 1/4 cup flour, stirring well. Pour mixture into a 13- x-9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

2. Combine oats, brown sugar, and remaining 1 cup flour in a small bowl; cut in cold butter with a fork or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle mixture evenly over fruit filling.

3. Bake at 375° for 45 to 50 minutes or until bubbly.

Yield: 10 servings

Tutti Dolci Peach Skillet Crumble

Ingredients

Crumble Topping
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
Filling
4 oz almond paste, cubed
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp arrowroot starch
1/4 tsp salt
6 cups peaches, peeled, pitted & sliced
1 Tbsp Amaretto

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet (or 2 quart baking dish). For the crumble topping, whisk together oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork until large crumbs form. Keep chilled while preparing filling.
For the filling, place almond paste and sugar in a food processor and pulse for 1 minute. Scrape mixture into a large bowl; whisk in arrowroot starch and salt. Add peaches and Amaretto, tossing gently to combine. Spoon filling into skillet and top with chilled crumble. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, until filling is bubbling and topping is golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.

Fig-Blueberry Crisp with a Goat Cheese Whipped Cream

Yield: Serves 3-4
The goat cheese whipped cream can be done a day ahead of time if desired. Otherwise we will usually make it while the crisp bakes.

Ingredients:

For the Topping
1/2 cup (60g) flour
1/4 cup (55g) packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick / 57g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
1/2 cup (40g) old-fashioned oats
Filling

1 pound (455g) figs, stems removed and quartered
6 ounces (170g) fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons (28g) packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon (8g) cornstarch
zest from one medium lemon
Goat Cheese Whipped Cream

4 oz (115g) goat cheese
1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (15g) confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Directions:

Preheat oven at 350°F.  Set aside a 1-quart or other smaller-sized baking dish.
Make the topping: In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Using your fingertips, pinch the butter pieces into the flour until the texture is crumbly. Pinch in the oats and work with your fingertips until the ingredients are evenly mixed.  Set aside in the fridge until ready to top the crisp.
Gently toss the filling ingredients (figs, blueberries, brown sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest) together. Place the filling in the baking dish. Spread the topping over the fig-blueberry filling. Bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes or until the topping is golden and filling has slightly thickened.
Make the goat cheese whipped cream topping. Whip together the goat cheese, cream, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract until the mixture forms soft peaks (when you lift the whisk out of the cream, a peak should form and then gently fall back, barely holding its shape). Place the whipped cream in a covered container and reserve in the fridge until ready to serve.
Serve the crisp warm or at room temperature, topping the individual servings with the goat cheese whipped cream.

Fresh Fig Pecan Crumble

Serves 8

When figs are ripe, they should give when you press on them. They might display an alluring, syrupy drop if they’ve cracked. If they’re hard, you should leave them out to ripen. Once the ripening begins it will happen very quickly, and they should be eaten within a couple of days. If you don’t pre-bake the topping, you can sprinkle it directly over the prepared fruit and bake for 40 minutes, or until the topping is golden and crisp.

Ingredients

For the topping:

¼ cup shelled pecans

1 cup rolled oats

¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar or turbinado sugar

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

4 ounces (1 stick) cold butter, cut into ½ -inch pieces

Grated zest of 1 orange

For the figs:

2 pounds fresh ripe figs, stemmed and cut in half lengthwise

⅓  cup mild honey, preferably lavender, orange, or clover

2 tablespoons Port

Instructions

1. Make the crumble topping ahead, if possible: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment.

2. Heat the pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan or stirring the pecans constantly, until they begin to smell toasty. Remove from the skillet at once and chop coarsely.

3. Mix together the oats, flour, sugar, nutmeg and salt, either in a bowl or in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

4. Cut in the butter using the pulse action of the food processor, or by taking up the mixture in handfuls and rubbing it briskly between your fingers and thumbs. The mixture should have a crumbly consistency. Stir in the pecans.

5. Spread the topping over the parchment-covered baking sheet in an even layer. Place in the oven and bake 10 minutes.

6. Rotate the pan, stir the topping and bake another 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is nicely browned.

7. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Stir in the orange zest. You can keep this in a freezer bag or an airtight container in the freezer for several weeks.

8. Make the fig filling: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter a 2-quart gratin or baking dish.

9. Place the figs in the baking dish, cut side up. Drizzle on the honey and douse with the Port. Bake 30 minutes.

10. Sprinkle on the topping and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until bubbling.

11. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream, crème fraiche or custard sauce.

Pear Crisp with Spiced Caramel Crumbs

Once your kitchen fills with the aroma of the baking pears, I dare you to not eat this hot right out of the baking dish. But it is best room temperature, when the topping firms up and has a caramel-like crunch. Be sure to use firm pears so that they hold their shape during baking. You can also make two individual in 5-inch shallow souffle dishes.

Serves 2

Ingredients

Topping

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch of ground mace

4 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

Filling

4 large firm-ripe pears (about 2 pounds), like Bartlett, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick

Juice of 1/2 lemon or orange

Pan: 8 1/2-by-5-by 1 1/2-inch ceramic baking pan or gratin dish (3 cup capacity), such as Apilco or Emile Henry

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375º.  Butter the baking dish and set aside. Place the flour, sugars, and spices in a bowl or food processor.  Cut in the butter pieces with your fingers, a pastry blender, or pulse in a food processor until the mixture just holds together and looks crumbly.  Set aside or refrigerate in a covered container.  Can be made the day ahead.

Place the sliced pears in the prepared dish and squeeze the citrus over it. Sprinkle the fruit evenly with all of the crumbly topping. Bake in the center of the oven until golden brown and the fruit is tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

My Little Pear Crisp with Almond Paste

Serves 2 to 3

Ingredients

Filling

2 pounds (about 4 large) firm-ripe pears, like Bartlett, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick

2 ounces almond paste, crumbled

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground nutmeg or mace

Topping

1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup rolled oats (quick-cooking or old fashioned)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375º (350º if using Pyrex). Grease a 8-inch square baking dish and add the pears with the crumbled almond paste.  Sprinkle with the lemon juice and spices; toss to coat.

Place the flour, sugar, and oatmeal in a food processor and pulse to grind the oatmeal.  Sprinkle the butter pieces over the top and process until the mixture just holds together and looks crumbly.  Sprinkle evenly over the fruit.

Bake until the fruit is bubbly-hot and just tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, and the topping is lightly browned, 40 to 50 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Peggy Fallon’s Apple and Pear Crisp with Toasted Oatmeal Streusel for Two

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 pound (about 3 large) tart baking apples

3/4 pound (about 3) firm-ripe pears, preferably Bosc

Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Topping

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

1/4 cup rolled oats (quick-cooking or old fashioned), toasted in a skillet for a few minutes and cooled

Créme de la Créme, for serving

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375º (350º if using Pyrex). Grease a 9-inch square baking dish and set aside.

Peel the apples and pears. Cut into quarters, remove cores and stems, and cut into 1-inch chunks or slices. In a large bowl, combine the apples, pears, and lemon juice. Toss gently to mix. Add the granulated sugar and cinnamon and toss again. Turn mixture into the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, mix together the flours, brown sugar, and cinnamon with your fingertips until blended with no lumps. Add butter and rub it into the flour mixture to the consistency of very coarse meal. Stir in the oatmeal. Pick up some of the streusel in handfuls, squeeze to compact, then crumble in clumps over the fruit, covering the top.

Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a lower oven rack to catch any fruit juices that might bubble over. Bake until the fruit is bubbly-hot and just tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, and the topping is lightly browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with a spoonful of Créme de la Créme.

~Mango Crisp~

The perfect dessert when you have an embarrassment of mangoes (and when you don’t you can substitute berries – blueberries, raspberries, strawberries – for some of the mango). From the “An Embarrassment of Mangoes” by Ann Vanderhoof.

Ingredients

For Topping:

1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/3 cup cold butter

For Fruit:

6 cups sliced ripe mango (about 3 – 4 mangoes, depending on size)
1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 (or more) cup packed brown sugar (approx)
2 tbsp flour

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 2-quart (8-inch-square) baking dish

2. Prepare the topping: In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, nutmeg, and crystallized ginger. Cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside

3. Toss the mango with the lime juice. Combine sugar and flour, and toss with fruit. Taste and adjust sweetness if desired. Spread fruit in the prepared dish.

4. Sprinkle topping evenly over fruit. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 – 50 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is crisp and lightly browned. Serve warm.

Eating Well’s Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, (3 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping

  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preparation:

Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well and return to the pan. Mash with a potato masher. Measure out 3 cups. (Reserve any extra for another use.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square (or similar 2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.

Whisk eggs, oil and honey in a medium bowl. Add mashed sweet potato and mix well. Stir in milk, orange zest, vanilla and salt. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish.

To prepare topping: Mix flour, brown sugar, orange juice concentrate, oil and butter in a small bowl. Blend with a fork or your fingertips until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over the casserole. Bake the casserole until heated through and the top is lightly browned, 35 to 45 minutes.

Guava Apple Crisp Rick Bayless

Filling:
2 (26-ounce) jars of guavas in syrup, drained, seeded and cut in 1/2-inch pieces
3 apples (preferably MacIntosh), peeled and cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1/2 cup guava nectar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Streusel Topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and slightly softened
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup pepitas, toasted and salted
Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)

Instructions

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the guavas, apples, dried cherries or cranberries, guava nectar, flour and vanilla. Divide evenly among eight 4 to 5-inch individual ovenproof serving dishes.

Place the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Mix until thoroughly blended. Add the butter. Use a fork or back of a spoon to work the butter into the dry ingredients. Dribble in the milk and sprinkle with pepitas. Mix to combine. The mixture should hold together, but still be a little crumbly. Top each of the individual dishes of filling with about 1/2 cup of the streusel topping.

Bake in the lower third of the oven until the streusel topping is crisped and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm, or let cool completely and reheat before serving. Top with vanilla ice cream if desired.

Slow Cooker Cherry Crisp

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

Filling

1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
Topping

1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats (oatmeal)
1/2 cup firmly packed Dixie Crystals Light Brown Sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened, cut into pieces
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Instructions
Spray a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.  Combine cherry pie filling and almond extract.
Spoon cherry pie filling into a 3 1/2 to 4-quart slow cooker.
Combine rolled oats, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spoon crumble mixture over cherry pie filling. Cover; cook on HIGH setting for 1 1/2 to 2-hours or until topping is golden brown and cherry filling starts to boil. Serve immediately with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Pear Crumble in A Pastry Crust

This is one of my favorite pies.  I adore fresh pears, especially prepared like this.  The following fruit crisp is anything but common — the sliced pears are piled into a raw pie shell and topped with a shatteringly-crisp crumb top that contains enough sweetening and spices to flavor the entire pie.  No baking dish is needed here — this is the perfect place to use a good-quality commercially made frozen crust to save time.

Makes one 9-inch pie, serving 6 to 8

8 to 10 medium Bartlett pears, still firm to the touch

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground mace

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces

One frozen prepared pie crust, unthawed, or homemade 9-inch single pie crust, chilled or frozen

Preheat the oven to 400º (375º if using Pyrex).  Peel, halve, and core the pears.  Cut each half into 3 thick slices and pile into the frozen pie crust, mounding the fruit higher in the center.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugars, and spices.  Cut in the cold butter pieces with your fingers, pastry cutter, or use a food processor, just until coarse crumbs are formed.  Holding your hand around the edge to prevent spilling, cover the pears evenly with the spicy crumble topping.

Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a lower oven rack to catch any fruit juices that might bubble over.  Bake in the center of the hot oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and pears are tender.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Dutch Apple Pie

D. Rattray

This apple pie is made with fresh apples and a crunchy oat and pecan streusel topping. An apple crisp in a pie shell.

Ingredients:

5 to 6 cups thinly sliced apples, a combination of varieties

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup melted butter

3 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 deep-dish pie shell, unbaked, 9-inch

Topping:

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Instructions:

Toss sliced apples with lemon juice to coat well. Add 1/2 cup sugar and the brown sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, flour, and spices, stir until mixture is well blended. Prepare pie shell.

In a food processor, combine topping ingredients; pulse until mixture is crumbly. You can also use a pastry blender or forks to cut this mixture together.

Pour apple mixture into the prepared pie shell. Sprinkle topping mix evenly over top of apples.

Place in preheated 375° oven. Bake for about 45 to 60 minutes, until apples are tender and topping is browned. Check after about 30 to 35 minutes to make sure the crust isn’t getting too brown. Use a pie shield or ring of foil to protect the crust edge if necessary.

Raspberry-Rhubarb Streusel Pie

Topping

2/3 c. all-purpose flour (80 g.)
2/3 c. oats—quick or old-fashioned (62 g.)
1/3 c. granulated sugar (66 g.)
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar (66 g.)
1/4 t. salt
1/3 c. unsalted butter, melted (75 g.)

Filling

1 c. sugar (200 g.)
Zest of 1/2 of a lemon
1 vanilla bean
pinch of salt
3 T. cornstarch (27 g.)
4 c. diced rhubarb (1 lbs. trimmed weight)
2 c. fresh raspberries (8 to 9 oz.)
Juice of half of a lemon (2 T.)

1 recipe Pâte Brisée, rolled out for a 9-inch single crust pie and chilled( recipe follows)

Combine the dry ingredients for the streusel in a medium bowl. Add the butter and stir with a fork or rubber spatula until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; chill.

Preheat the oven to 425°. Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the sugar in a small bowl.  (Reserve the pod for another use, if you like.)  Add the lemon zest.  Rub the vanilla and lemon zest into the sugar with your fingers.  Add the salt and cornstarch and stir to distribute.  Place the rhubarb and lemon juice in a large bowl.  Add the dry ingredients and stir until moistened.  Add the raspberries and gently fold in. Turn the fruit into the chilled crust, scraping the bowl well. Spread the streusel evenly over the fruit.

Transfer the pie to the lowest rack of the oven. Bake the pie at 425° for 20 minutes. Cover the edges with a foil ring and turn the temperature down to 375° and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the temperature down to 325° and bake until the streusel is golden brown, the juices are bubbling thickly in the center of the pie and the bottom crust is browned—another 25-35 minutes. If the juices ever threaten to over-flow, slide a baking sheet under the baking pie.  Cool the pie to room temperature before cutting (this allows the juices to “firm up”).  If desired, re-warm the pie briefly just before cutting. Serve with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

Notes:
If fresh rhubarb is unavailable, you may use frozen. Spread on a rack set over a baking sheet and let sit at room temperature until just beginning to thaw (it should feel a bit soft)—about 30 to 40 minutes. If any of the chunks of rhubarb are very large, cut them down to an appropriate size. Mix the filling and fill the crust as for fresh. Leave the oven temperature at 425° for 25 minutes. You will have to bake the pie longer at 325° longer before you see bubbles at the center of the pie…perhaps 10 to 15 minutes longer.
If you prefer your rhubarb to be more heavily sweetened, you may add another 2 T. of sugar to the filling. Don’t reduce the lemon juice, the pie will lose its bright flavor.
You may leave the vanilla bean out…or substitute a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add with the lemon juice. From the blog For Love of the Table

Pâte Brisée

(Basic Pie Dough)

1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour (150g)
1/2 t. salt
6 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (85 g.)
2 T. vegetable shortening (28 g.)
3 to 4 T. ice water

Combine the flour and the salt in a medium-sized bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like cornmeal and peas.  Add the shortening and quickly rub in.  Drizzle 3 T. ice water over the flour/butter mixture. Using your hands, fluff the mixture until it begins to clump, adding more water if necessary. If, when you squeeze some of the mixture it holds together, the dough is finished. Turn the dough out onto a counter and form into a mound. Using the heel of your hand, gradually push all of the dough away from you in short forward strokes, flattening out the lumps. Continue until all of the dough is flat. Using a bench scraper, scrape the dough off the counter, forming it into a single clump as you do. Wrap in plastic wrap and press into a thick disk. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

To roll out, let the dough warm up for a moment or two. Butter and flour a 9-inch pie plate and set it aside. Flour the work surface and the rolling pin. Begin rolling from the center of the dough outward. After each stroke, rotate the dough a quarter turn—always making sure that there is sufficient flour to keep the dough from sticking. Keep rolling and turning until you have a round of dough that is about 1/8 to 1/6 –inch in thickness. Using a lid or an upside-down bowl, trim the dough to form a 13-inch circle. Brush off the excess flour and fold the dough circle in half. Slide the outspread fingers of both hands under the dough and gently lift it and transfer it to the prepared pie plate. Unfold the dough and ease it into the pan being careful not to stretch it. Fold the extra dough under along the rim of the pan so that it is double in thickness. Crimp the edge. Chill the pie shell for at least 1/2 hour.

Apple Crisp Pizza

Ingredients

Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
⅔ cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
4 medium apples (like Gala, Fiji, Braeburn, Empire) peeled and diced into ¼ inch pieces
TOPPING:
½ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup salted butter, softened (see Note)
DRIZZLE:
½ cup caramel topping

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll pastry to fit a 12 inch pizza pan; fold under edges to give the pizza a bit of a raised crust. Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add peeled, diced apples and toss. Arrange the apples in a single layer over the pie crust to completely cover it.
For the topping: Combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and butter in a bowl. Mix well. I like to use my clean hands to get in there and mush it together until it’s the texture of wet sand. Sprinkle topping evenly over the apples.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from oven and immediately drizzle with caramel topping. Cut into pizza slices and serve warm with ice cream. Makes 12 servings.

Text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016

Recipe copyright Eating Well, Pillsbury, Rick Bayless, Peggy Fallon, Barbara Hiken, Davide Liebovitz,  Ann Vanderhoof, For Love of the Table blog, Bountiful blog, The Girl who Ate Everything blog, Sunset Magazine, Better Hhomes and Gardens, D. Rattray, Betty Crocker, Dorie Greenspan, Ina Garten, 2016

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.


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