Revenge of the Pear Crisp

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A couple of months ago, we enjoyed a delicious meal with Taste Food (Lynda) and her gracious husband. The Wimpy Vegetarian (Susan) and her husband were also a part of this delightful evening. For dessert, Lynda served a berry crisp that sent my husband over the moon. He compared it to his mother’s fruit crisp, the first I had ever heard of such a thing. A stab of envy went through me, thinking of my own inadequate and unremarkable fruit crisps in the past.

There were more mentions of the scrumptious berry crisp during the long drive home to San Diego. By the time we hit LA traffic, I was determined to make a memorable fruit crisp of my own – and soon.

Pears were just coming into season, so I decided on them as my fruit of choice and began tweaking my recipe for pear crisp, adding lemon zest and crystallized ginger. I peeled those slippery pears and toasted sliced almonds.

When I finally served Larry a ramekin with a portion of warm crisp, I held my breath. “Remember how you enjoyed Lynda’s berry crisp?” I prompted. “Oh yes, “he replied, “Hers was wonderful, just like my mom’s.” [Pause.] “But yours is good too, honey.”


Serves 4

  • 4 Bartlett pears
  • 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 pound cold, unsalted butter (1 stick),/li>
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

1. Peel, halve and core the pears. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and place in a shallow bowl.

2. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and chopped ginger. Stir to mix.

3. Add the sugar and flour. Mix well and set pears aside.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5. Using a small skillet, lightly toast the almonds over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Set aside.

6. Using a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix for 2 minutes on medium-low speed. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the toasted almonds.

7. Fill 4 6-ounce ramekins with equal portions of the prepared pears.

8. Use your hands to shape the topping into a ball. Cut the dough into 4 portions. Use your hands to pat out 4 circles to cover each ramekin.

9. Place the filled ramekins on a sheet pan and bake for 45 minutes until the tops are lightly browned and the filling is bubbling.

10. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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22 Responses to Revenge of the Pear Crisp

  1. Sunchowder -Wendy Read October 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    So cute Liz! Sometimes you just can’t win ๐Ÿ™‚ This looks lovely, I love ginger and pears together. It has more of a “cobbler” topping, looks yummy!

    • lizthechef October 20, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

      Thanks, Wendy – I can never keep “cobbler” and “crisp” toppings straight. New avatar I see!

  2. Mary Constant October 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    Liz, This is delicious looking and sounding. I am going out to look for pears. I think I have one around here somewhere!

    • lizthechef October 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

      Pears are finally “in” here, as are apples.

  3. jaynerly October 20, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    Men!! Your crisp looks great!

    • lizthechef October 20, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

      It was pretty good, but Lynda’s was truly better ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. TasteFood October 20, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    I know Larry loved it. He just wants you to keep making more!

    • lizthechef October 20, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

      Well, maybe – he is a clever guy ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hey, congrats on your big win earlier today!

  5. Ann O October 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    Liz, I am hoping to try this soon, but have a question about step number 8–eg, not sure exactly what is meant by “Use your hands to shape the topping into a bowl.”–did you mean ball instead of bowl? Thanks so much!

    • lizthechef October 20, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

      Heavens yes, a “ball”. Thank you SO much for picking that up – my apologies!

  6. Oui, Chef October 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    This look gorgeous, Liz. How fun to live near Lynda and Susan, there must have been some good eats at that table!

    • lizthechef October 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

      Lynda made a fabulous meal for 8 of us, well worth the long drive home to San Diego ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m seeing them both again in 2 weeks – can’t wait!

  7. Gloria October 22, 2011 at 4:36 am #

    LOL…sounds like the story of my life with my Hubby. He rarely goes over the moon for any food…but I always anxiously wait for his reponse on a new dish. I have to remember that as long as I’m over the moon about the dish, then I shouldn’t be too worried about Hubs.

    It was great to meet you last Saturday! Such an inspiring day!

    • lizthechef October 22, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

      Still “digesting” last Saturday = hope to see you again –

  8. Bevi October 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    Well Liz you know what we think of your crisp in our neck of the woods. I have been using apples from our own tree. My neighbor tasted the crisp and I set her up with some of our apples and your recipe!

    • lizthechef October 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

      You have been my biggest fan for this recipe – thanks for the support!

  9. vintagesugarcube October 24, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    LOVE your blog style and all the old pics. So fab! Nice to meet you on Sunday and look forward to seeing you in January. That pear crisp looks ahhhmazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • lizthechef October 24, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

      Thanks, and so lovely to meet you – Marie sent me the blog list, btw. I remember you are busy over the holidays – indeed, see you in January. My pal Rachael of La Fuji Mama will drive down to attend – check out her blog?

  10. Stacy (Little Blue Hen) October 25, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    Oooh, we love crisps of all flavors at our house.

    I have a similar story with my hubby’s favorite Christmas cookies. I groused to my mother-in-law about it and she said, “Sometimes you just have to say ‘Fine, you can wait until your mother makes that for you’ and move on.” Sound advice.

    • lizthechef October 29, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

      Too bad my mother-in-law is no longer with us – but I will work on a similar response ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Rustic Garden Bistro November 4, 2011 at 6:08 am #

    It’s not you, it’s him!!!! Are our husbands part of the same generation? Because that sounds like something MY husband would say. I agree with Stacy, sometimes, you just gotta say “fine, you can wait!” But for the record, I think your crisp is just fine. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • lizthechef November 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

      LOL, Kim – thanks – looking forward to seeing you next weekend.

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