Archive for: crisp
A slice of fresh cherry pie that is freshly baked is just about irresistible – especially when you were the one baking it and your kitchen still smells like home-baked pie. Cherry cobbler and cherry crisp are right up there, too, when it comes to tempting cherry desserts. They’re easier to make and they’re always available when they’re hot from the oven (while cherry pies typically need to cool for the filling to thicken).
These Cinnamon Streusel-Topped Cherry Crisps are individual desserts that pack a whole lot of cherry flavor into a very small package. Juicy cherries make up the main part of the dessert, of course, but a crisp and buttery streusel topping is what makes it a winner for me. The topping is made with oatmeal, ground cinnamon and brown sugar, with some chopped pecans tossed in for extra crunch and flavor. A pinch of salt adds just the right amount of contrast to the topping, so you can really taste every element alongside those cherries. Almonds would also work very well in the streusel, as they tend to be a great match with cherries.
Cherries are a fruit that are typically in season late in the spring and summer, but they keep very well and I have them in my kitchen all year round. I keep frozen cherries in the freezer and jars of good-quality cherries (packed in cherry juice) in the pantry for any occasion that I might need them for. They both work just as well as fresh cherries will – and since they seem to release a little more juice than fresh cherries, you can even end up with a slightly saucier cherry crisp. Any kind of cherries will work, from sour cherries to black cherries. I personally tend to go with the sweeter black cherries, but a mix of different types will produce an outstanding dessert.
I like these best when they’re fresh from the oven, but they keep very well and leftovers are terrific for breakfast. I heat up my leftovers for a few seconds in the microwave to warm them up again before re-serving.
Apples are a popular choice for crisps and cobblers, but pears are also an excellent fruit for making this type of dessert. Pears tend to be juicier and more tender than apples, especially once they’ve been baked. That means that when they’re put into a fruit dessert like a crisp, they bake up very quickly and produce a fruit filling that has a lot of moisture to contrast with a streusel topping.
These Individual Pear Crisps with Oatmeal Streusel are easy to make and even easier to eat. The filling is made with fresh pears, a little bit of sugar and just a touch of flour to help thicken all of the pear juices. The topping is made with flour, oatmeal and brown sugar. I prefer to use quick cooking oatmeal, which is made of regular rolled oats that have been coarsely chopped because I think that it gives the best texture. You will still get good results with regular rolled oats if that’s what you have in your pantry. The streusel topping turns golden brown in the oven and has a nice crunch to it. It is buttery, with just the right amount of sweetness, and has a lot of flavor in spite of its short ingredient list, and is an amazing flavor match for the tender, juicy pears.
As with most cobblers, the amount of fruit that you use is not critical and you can use a bit more or a bit less than I’ve suggested in the recipe (which is why I simply suggested the number of pears that you might want to use, rather than the weight). Sometimes I’ll stretch the streusel topping by using more pears and turning six servings into eight. Other times, I’ll just make four and save the remaining streusel in a baggie in the fridge for a few days for another batch.
These crisps are the best when they’re still slightly warm from the oven and served with vanilla ice cream. Leftovers also make a very good breakfast dish if they’re warmed in the microwave (they should be stored in the fridge, covered) and topped with a bit of milk or cream before serving.
Citrus is often used as a flavoring for desserts from scones to cakes, but pieces of orange and lemon don’t always make it into the finished product. Frankly, you wouldn’t want to have big pieces of orange or lemon floating around in all of your recipes, but they do deserve the chance to take more of a starring role once in a while. With ripe blood oranges on hand, I used them as one of the main ingredients in these Blueberry and Blood Orange Crisps.
The crisps are easy to make. They’re a mixture of blueberries and fresh blood orange segments – lightly sweetened – that is topped with a buttery oat crisp. I supremed the oranges, meaning that I sliced out each of the orange pieces and left the “skin” that holds them together behind (this is also frequently called segmenting). To do this, just cut the peel off of the orange and cut along the side of the membranes between orange segments with a sharp knife, removing the “meat” of the fuit. While you could simply chop the oranges, this leaves more tender pieces of fruit in the dessert. The finished crisps are have a wonderful bright berry flavor to them, and the blueberries and oranges are a good match. Blood oranges have a mellow orange flavor, so orange zest helps to bring it out. There is a great ratio of topping to filling (especially if you’re a fan of the topping!), too, and it is just crispy enough to add a good textural contrast to the sticky filling.
You could bake this in one big casserole dish, but I like the fact that you get a much better ratio of fruit to topping by putting these in individual ramekins. Don’t try to cram the crisps into too-small ramekins, as you won’t have as much room to pile on the topping if you do. You can use fresh or frozen berries for this recipe. If you opt for frozen, do not defrost them before adding them to the oranges. You can also use different kinds of berries, adding raspberries for a springtime dish and strawberries for a more summery variation. Similarly, if you don’t have blood oranges you can use small mandarins (even canned, drained) or any other orange. Choose a sweet one, or consider adding an extra tablespoon or two of sugar to the filling to make up for any tartness.
Apple pie is one of my favorite desserts no matter what time of the year it is, but when fall rolls around I start to move it up in the rotation. But, even though I can be quick with a crust, apple pies do take a little bit of time to put together when you start to compare them to other apple desserts, including apple crisp, so I often make crisps as a quicker, homey alternative to apple pie on a cool fall evening.The full disclosure here is that I will take apple crisp any day of the week, just as I would with apple pie. I’m just trying to make it sound as easy as possible – and it is easy to make – so that you’ll be tempted to try making your own batch even on a busy weeknight. Especially on a busy weeknight, actually, since it’s so satisfying.
This apple crisp has a little bit of a healthy edge to it, or perhaps I should say a healthy topping. The crisp topping is made with whole wheat flour, oats and a bit of ground flaxseed, as well as with brown sugar and spices. You could leave out the flaxseed if you don’t have any on hand. The filling is lightly sweetened with sugar and apple cider. It is very similar to an apple pie filling because it contains a little bit of cornstarch to thicken the juices up during baking. This makes the crisp a lot easier to serve since the filling will stick together in nice, neat (well, neat for a crisp) scoops without juices running everywhere. Be sure to serve it warm and, if you’re feeling decadent, ice cream or whipped cream is never a bad match for a dessert like this one.
There are few things that are quite as comforting as a a warm bowl of apple cobbler or some other freshly-baked, fruit-filled goodie. Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More is a book that is dedicated to the homey comfort foods in this category. The great thing about these types of desserts is that they are incredibly unfussy. Unlike a cake, which has to be carefully mixed, baked, cooled and frosted, a fruit cobbler requires only a little prep for the fruit before it goes into the oven, and it comes out ready to serve while it is still hot. These fruit-laden desserts also offer a lot of variety, as opposed to that chocolate cake, because they can be made with so many different types of fruit and you can work with what is in season.
This cookbook is a great resource for these fruit desserts because it seems to cover all of them. Additionally, while it does offer many classic flavor combinations, it doesn’t stick to your basic apple cobbler and leave it at that. Some of the other recipes include a Gingered Pear and Raspberry Pandowdy and Boozy Dried Cherry, Chocolate and Hazelnut Bread Pudding. The accompanying photos for the recipes, as well as some filler photos of ingredients and fruit, are mouthwatering.
The recipes are straightforward and easy to follow, with detailed descriptions of the dishes and what makes them so tasty right before each recipe. The book offers tips and tricks for getting the most flavor into each dessert, like a note about how to toast nuts before incorporating them into a crumble topping, and also offers some serving suggestions, like vanilla ice cream. Recipes for accompaniments, as well as some pantry-staples like pie crust, are included in the back of the book as they come in handy again and again, even if they’re not always a staple of a dessert.