pear-crisp-1

Crisps have issues. Usually the toppings aren’t so crisp. In fact, they can be pretty soggy and way too sweet. And then there’s the way they rant about why, why, why the local NBC affiliate insists on showing “The 700 Club” smack in the middle of all 15 hours of the “Today” show.

Oh, wait. That’s me.

Anyway, I was curious when I saw this Harvest Pear Crisp with Candied Ginger in “Bon Appétit.” The topping is a classic oats-and-nuts combination, but the nuts are chopped whole raw almonds (guaranteeing a good crunch), and there’s candied ginger to balance the sweetness with a little zing.

At first, I wasn’t so sure about this dessert. But once the candied ginger mellowed overnight, the layers of warm baked pears, crunchy nut topping and whipped cream sprinkled with freshly grated nutmeg came together into a dessert worth waiting for. Just like the 15th hour of the “Today” show with Kathie Lee and Hoda.

Harvest Pear Crisp

Adapted from “Bon Appétit” (November 2009)

Yield: Makes 4 to 5 servings

    Topping:

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped whole raw almonds
  • 1/8 cup 1/4-inch cubes crystallized ginger
    Filling:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 pounds firm but ripe pears (3 to 4 large), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
    Garnish:

  • Whipped cream
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For topping: Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Add butter. Quickly rub in with fingertips until moist clumps form. Stir in oats, almonds and ginger. Chill while preparing filling.
  3. For filling: Whisk first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Add pears; toss.
  4. Transfer filling  to 8 x 8 baking dish. Sprinkle topping over pear mixture.
  5. Bake until topping is crisp and golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 45 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg.