|Cardamom Pear Crisps|
Often overlooked for their crisp apple counterparts, pears work exceptionally well in desserts, their buttery, velvety flesh lending itself to spiced pairings and hearty baked toppings. Curl up with a warm jar of freshly baked pear crisp on a brisk autumn eve and you’ll forget all about those red orbs.
For the pear filling:
20 small pears, such as Forelle or Seckel varieties, or 10 medium pears, such as Anjou
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
For the crisp topping:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cardamom (see Note)
½ teaspoon ground dried ginger
Pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Wash and core the pears and cut them into 1/4 inch slices. Place the pear slices in a large bowl. Add in the lemon juice and toss gently to keep the pears from browning. Mix in the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Fill six 8-ounce canning jars with the pears to 1/4 from the top.
2. Make the topping: In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cardamom, ground ginger, and salt to mix well. Add the butter and use a fork to incorporate it into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Spoon the topping over the pears to cover the tops.
3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pears are cooked through and the topping is a light golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 6 crisps in jars
Note: For the freshest and most fragrant cardamom flavor, purchase green cardamom pods and grind the seeds with a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder.