If I were to ask you to name the “fruits of fall”, surely apples would likely be the first you would mention, and then maybe pears would be a close second. Where would cranberries fall on that list of fall fruits? Fresh cranberries are in season now, bagged and sold by the pound. I usually get several bags of them and put them into the freezer for use later on when they’re no longer available at the supermarket. They are so useful in both sweet and savory dishes.
We think of cranberries when we’re planning the Thanksgiving menu, because cranberry sauce, whether canned or home made is a natural with turkey. But cranberries seem to get neglected when it comes to baking or making a dessert for the holiday table. So today I have a recipe that attempts to change that.
This tart-sweet dessert combines fresh cranberries with dried cranberries and fresh diced pears, plus lovely spices. It gets topped with a crumble that is made from flour, sugar, oats, chopped nuts and melted butter. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, it could be the grand finale to your holiday dinner, if not this month, maybe next. The colors are so festive, they remind me of Christmas jewels and ornaments.
Yield: Serves 6 – 8
- 1 pound cranberries, thawed if frozen
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 firm pears (such as Bosc), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground allspice
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans or other nuts of choice
- 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 375*F. Lightly grease or spray a 3-quart baking dish.
2. Combine the fresh and dried cranberries in a large bowl. Add 1 cup sugar, 3 Tbsp. water and the vanilla and toss to coat. Lightly mash with a potato masher or fork to burst some of the cranberries.
Add the pears, cinnamon, allspice and 2 Tbsp. flour and toss to coat.
Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
3. Make the topping: Mix the remaining 1 cup flour, the nuts, oats, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the salt in a medium bowl, then stir in the melted butter.
Use your fingers to pinch the topping into small clumps and sprinkle it over the fruit.
4. Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
SOURCE: Food Network Magazine