Blackberry & Pear Crisp

We will be leaving Umbria in just a few weeks, and I am busy trying to use up all the food stored in my freezer before we leave. It’s difficult to believe our six months here in Umbria is almost finished as the time has just flown by this year, but I really need to start thinking about closing up the two farmhouses, and heading back to North America soon. I became a little obsessed about picking wild blackberries a month or so ago and now have 4 bags of them in my freezer that I need to use up before we leave. One dessert that’s extremely easy to make is a simple fruit crisp or crumble, and I’ve been making this often throughout the summer for our guests, depending on the fresh, local fruit available to me. To use up my blackberry stash, I have recently been pairing pears with blackberries which happens to be a terrific combination. I make my crisps in individual ramekins, but you could also use a large oven-proof casserole dish if you prefer. What I like best about this dessert is that you can prepare it ahead of time, and then simply pop it in the oven when needed, and it really is a great way to use up very ripe fruit.

For the cookie crumble crust, I have used both buttery shortbread cookies, as well as healthy multigrain ones and both work equally well. You can also use any fruit you choose, in combination, or on their own depending on the season. Simply use four cups of diced, ripe fruit in place of the blackberries and pears. In place of the whipped cream, these warm crisps are also delicious topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2012

Blackberry & Pear Crisp

An easy dessert that can be varied from season to season depending on the fresh fruit available.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cup Fresh Blackberries
  • 2 Cups Diced, Ripe Pear
  • 3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar

Topping:

  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened To Room Temperature
  • 6 Cookies (See Note Above), Coarsely Crumbled
  • 1/4 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

To Serve:

  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and lightly butter 4 (3 1/2 inch) ramekins.
  2. In a bowl, toss together the fruit, flour, lemon juice and sugar.
  3. Divide the fruit equally between the four ramekins.
  4. In another bowl, place the topping ingredients, and use your fingertips to rub the butter in until crumbly.
  5. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit and bake the ramekins for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
  6. While the crumbles are baking, beat the whipped cream until stiff, then add the powdered sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Serve the crumbles warm, with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Adapted from Martha Stewart.