When I was a kid, my bus stop was at a cranberry bog. It was owned by Ocean Spray, actually. It’s no secret how much I miss my home in Massachusetts, so I when I see anything made by them, I get a little homesick.
I just learned that stores don’t sell fresh cranberries until around mid-October, so whenever I see them, especially if they’re the Ocean Spray brand, I get a little excited knowing they just came straight from where I grew up, maybe even from my bus stop.
Something as tart as cranberries generally goes well with something very sweet. So I like the way pear and cranberries play off each other. They are both late fall fruits, and they both seem to exude a holiday cheer, don’t they? Holidays or not, though, this Pear and Cranberry Crisp is a delicious way to end a meal on a cold night. While I ate it, I dreamed I was home.
Pear Cranberry Crisp
I made this recipe so it would be gluten-free by using almond flour instead of wheat flour. If you can’t find it, or if it’s too expensive, you can always substitute regular flour.
5 firm pears, peeled and cut in large chunks
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (or dried, if that’s all you have)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup, plus 4 tablespoons sugar
1 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, cut in pieces
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss pears and cranberries with lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of sugar in the bottom of a medium size glass or ceramic baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine remaining sugar, almond flour, almond extract, and spice. Toss the butter in the flour mixture, and then, using your hands, combine the butter with the flour mixture until well combined. Pull together into a ball, and then crumble on top of the pear and cranberry mixture.
2. Place in the 375 degree oven, and immediately reduce the heat to 300. Bake for one hour, or until the pears are cooked, and the juices are bubbling.