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Cranberry Pear & Apple Crumble Tested Recipe

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Cranberry Pear & Apple Crumble Recipe

This Cranberry Pear and Apple Crumble takes chunks of sweet and granular pears, tart and chewy cranberries and crisp and crunchy apples and tops them with a streusel-like mixture made with flour, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, rolled oats, nuts, and butter. It is oh so good when served warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

 

Crumbles are especially popular during the Fall and Winter months which just happens to coincide with the harvest times of pears, apples, and cranberries. I love how the topping for this Cranberry Pear and Apple Crumble turns a beautiful golden brown color and the texture is both crisp and crumbly, hence the name. The crumble's topping is very simple to make in your food processor, or by hand, and once it is placed over the fruit it is baked in a moderate oven until the butter melts and the ingredients form large clumps. There are many choices for what type of pears and apples you can use in this dessert. While  Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Rome and Braeburn are some year round favorites, try to use locally grown apples as they have superior flavor and texture, and there is the added bonus of supporting your local farmers. You can mix two or even three different varieties of apples which gives the crumble a wonderfully complex flavor. The same goes for the pears. I often use Bartlett or Anjou Pears, but again, try to use locally grown. The cranberries can be either fresh or dried. Both add a nice tart flavor to the crumble.

This Cranberry Pear and Apple's crumble topping contains old fashioned rolled oats. Oats are a cereal grain that is rich and flavorful and comes in many forms. Very popular in Northern Europe, Scotland and Ireland. Oats to be consumed by humans are cleaned, toasted, hulled to  become what we call oat groats. The oat groats are then steamed and flattened to become rolled oats or old-fashioned oats. Old-fashioned rolled oats are not to be confused with quick-cooking rolled oats. These are oats have been cut into pieces before being steamed and rolled into thinner flakes. They cook quickly, about 5 minutes, but their flavor and texture are a little different than old-fashioned rolled oats. I do not recommend using the quick-cooking rolled oats in this recipe.

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Cranberry Pear and Apple Crumble: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven.  Butter or spray with a nonstick cooking spray, a 2 1/2 quart (2.75 liter) casserole or oval gratin dish, or a 10 inch (25 cm) deep dish pie plate.

For Crumble Topping: Place all the topping ingredients (flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, oats, nuts, and butter) in a food processor and process just until the mixture has clumps the size of peas. (This can also be done in a large bowl with a pastry blender, two knives or your fingertips.) 

For Filling: In a large bowl combine the sugar and cornstarch (corn flour). Peel, core, and slice the apples and pears and toss them, along with the cranberries, in the sugar mixture. Once thoroughly combined transfer to the prepared baking dish. Spread the topping evenly over the fruit.

Bake for approximately 35 - 45 minutes or until bubbly and the topping is golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers and reheat before serving.

Makes about 6 servings.

References:

Daley, Regan. 'In the Sweet Kitchen'. Random House Canada: 2000.

Davidson, Alan. 'The Oxford Companion to Food'. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Sax, Richard. 'Classic Home Desserts'. Houghton Mifflin Company. New York:1994.

Crumble Topping:

3/4 cup (95 grams) all purpose flour

3/4 cup (155 grams) light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (70 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats

1/3 cup (40 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Filling:

2-3 tablespoons (30 - 45 grams) light brown sugar

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)

1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) Granny Smith Apples or other firm, tart-tasting apple - peeled, cored, and sliced into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks

1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) ripe Bartlett or Anjou Pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks

1/2 cup (50 grams) dried cranberries (can use fresh cranberries that have been rinsed, drained, and picked over)

 
 
     
 

 

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