09 February 2010

Vegan Pear-Cranberry Crisp

From February 2010 photos

A few weeks ago, my friends Bo, Rosie, and Tony visited for a celebration of vegan flavors. Now, understand that these folks are not vegan, nor am I, but I wanted to introduce some omnivores to the tastier and healthier dishes that can be found in the strict vegetarian diet. Tony was the most impressed with the massive spread and the dishes that kept emerging from the kitchen. He thought of going vegan right then!

Rosie and Bo were tougher sells, but this Pear-Cranberry Crisp sealed the deal. They enjoyed the granola-y texture and the fruity flavors. They also liked the ginger zip and the overall vanilla taste. It's the perfect warm dessert for a frosty evening (which tends to be the case in February), plus it lets me use up some of the thousand cranberries I froze back in the fall.

The recipe below is inspired by one of the same name found in the sadly out of print The Angelica Home Kitchen from the restaurant Angelica Kitchen down on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I also made the incredible Walnut-Lentil Pate as well as the Miso-Tahini Spread, which went over very well. (I'll be making the pate again for my mom and Dave's famous Flowers In February party to celebrate their gorgeous orchids blooming.)

From February 2010 photos

Above is another shot of the still-warm crisp topped with 3 small scoops of Vanilla Bean flavor Purely Decadent Coconut Milk frozen dessert. It was heavenly, to say the least. The scant leftovers were fantastic for breakfast the next morning.

Tip: Quick way to chop pecans is not to chop them at all, but to seal them in a plastic bag (or roll 'em up in a towel) and hit them with a mallet.

From February 2010 photos

Pear-Cranberry Crisp
Serves 8

1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup barley flour
1 cup chopped pecans (I pummeled mine with a mallet instead of dirtying a knife.)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil of your choice (I used grapeseed oil.)
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla

6 firm pears, cored and cut into 1/2 in. sized pieces.
1 cup cranberries (I used frozen that I'd bought fresh and quick frozen back in November.)
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
1/2 cup apple juice
3 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger (the more finely grated the better)
pinch of salt

1. Mix the flours, pecans, almonds, and salt together in a medium bowl.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the oil, agave nectar and vanilla (from the top section of ingredients) until well incorporated.
3. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir until crumbly. This is your topping. Cover and refrigerate until the next two steps are done.
4. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
5. Lightly oil a 9 x 9 in. baking dish and pour the fruit mixture into the dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes.
6. Take the dish out of the oven briefly, then sprinkle the crumble on top of the baked fruit. Cover again, making sure the foil does not touch the crumble, and bake again for 20 minutes.
7. Uncover the dish and bake until the topping is golden brown, approximately 15 minutes.
8. Serve warm.


Ricki said...

Pear, cranberry, and ginger--a perfect trio of flavors. I must give this a try (and it will take only a wee bit of adaptation to suit my diet--yay!)

Deb Schiff said...

Let me know how it goes, Ricki. :)

Anonymous said...

That sounds delicious! I can't tell from the photo--is the filling soupy? I don't usually add juice to my fruit filling mixtures as the fruits own juices are usually enough...does it cook off once you take off the tin foil?



Deb Schiff said...

Not soupy in the least. Firm pears don't make a lot of juice. Also, the arrowroot takes care of the pudding-like texture.