Sunday, November 11, 2012

Apple, Pear, and Raisin Crisp

Let me just start by saying that this is about a bazillion times better than any fruit crisp I've ever made or eaten (and I've produced and consumed at least my fair share).  For one thing, the combination of apples, pears, and raisins is like the distillation of everything good about autumn, while the additions of cocoa powder and peanut butter elevate the whole business from the merely cozy to the ridiculously sublime. And if that wasn't enough, it has basically no sugar - in fact, with all those raisins you can leave it out entirely - making it as suitable for breakfast as dessert, especially if you take my approach and top it with vanilla soy yogurt. And it's ready in well under an hour, so what are you waiting for?

Apple, Pear, and Raisin Crisp
~ 6-8 apples
~ 4-5 pears (I like Bosc)
~ 3/4 cup raisins (dried cranberries would also be nice)
~ 1-2 tbsp. maple syrup (optional)
~ 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
~ 1 tbsp. flour
~ 1 cup rolled oats
~ 1/2 cup flour
~ 1/4 - 1/3 cup peanut butter
~ 1 tsp. cinnamon
~ 1/2 tsp. salt
~ Good pinch of mace or nutmeg

~ Preheat your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and coat a largeish baking dish with cooking spray.
~ In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and flour; add the raisins and toss to coat.
~ Cut the apples and pears (I never peel this sort of fruit, and neither should you) into approximately 1" pieces. Place them in a large bowl, add the maple syrup (if using) and the cocoa/flour/raisin mixture and combine thoroughly.
~ Place the peanut butter in a dish and microwave for about 30-40 seconds, until semi-liquified. Stir in the oats, flour, cinnamon, salt, and mace, and mix well.
~ Transfer the fruit to the prepared baking dish and distribute the oatmeal mixture evenly over the top.
~ Bake uncovered at 375 degrees fahrenheit 25-30 minutes, or until the fruit is soft and the topping is browned. Allow to rest briefly before serving with (or without) the topping of your choice: custard, ice cream, and yogurt are all good contenders!

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