I have said it many times, but I simply do not like making fancy desserts. I think of myself as a cook, not a baker, as baking requires an entirely different outlook in the kitchen. With baking, you must measure everything to ensure all the ingredients scientifically come together into the amazing dessert you initially envisioned. Cooking on the other hand allows for experimentation, adding a pinch of this, or a handful of that as you progress through the development of your dish. It will be very, very rare that I’ll ever post a recipe for an involved dessert simply because I avoid them whenever possible. There are some desserts however, that are just too good not to share because they are easy, impossible to mess up, and are quite frankly just delicious. This rustic pear and blueberry crisp or crumble is exactly that type of dessert, and one I enjoy making often.
This easy pear crisp is the type of dessert I grew up with. My Mom cooked a lot of “meat and potatoes” kind of meals for our family, but everyone in the family enjoyed a little dessert afterwards. There aren’t a lot of options available right now for fresh, seasonal fruit apart from strawberries which quite frankly I think I have now officially overindulged in, but apples, pears, and citrus fruits are sold year round. On our last market trip, our favorite vendor had four different varieties of pears for sale and I just could’t resist buying some.
I noticed the other day as I was preparing dinner that my pears had ripened quickly and needed to be used up soon, so I threw together this easy pear crisp while our dinner was in the oven and we enjoyed it for dessert warm with a dollop of vanilla flavored cream. I always keep a few packages of dried berries on hand, and added some dried wild blueberries to my pears which was a great match. Although I feel the crisp is best served warm, preferably with a nice scoop of ice cream on top, it is just as good the next day cold for breakfast (or so I’m told). Unlike many desserts, you can change the ingredients as you prefer, using apples, peaches, or plums instead of the pears, using other dried or fresh berries in place of the blueberries, or adding chopped toasted nuts to the topping and the recipe will always turn out well.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 2 Pounds Ripe Pears (About 4 Medium Large Pears), Peeled, Cored & Chopped
- 1 Cup Dried Wild Blueberries (Or Fresh or Frozen)
- 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1 1/4 Cup Regular Oats
- 1 Cup All-purpose Flour
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter (12 Tablespoons), Diced
- Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
- Butter a 9 inch casserole dish well.
- In a bowl, toss together the pears, blueberries, sugar, and cinnamon.
- Dump the fruit into your casserole dish and spread evenly across the bottom.
- In another bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon.
- Add the diced butter, and using your fingers rub the butter into the other ingredients well until you have a crumbly mixture.
- Sprinkle the topping over the pears evenly covering them and bake until the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly, about 45 minutes.
- If the top browns too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.
- Serve warm with sweetened whipped cream or a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.