It’s been a very busy week. Christmas has come and gone. Our family celebrated the holiday with a traditional German meal of beef rouladen and spatzle with sweet and sour red cabbage on Christmas. On Christmas Eve we had friends over and had lots of appetizers, a cheese tray, and fresh veggies. My wife baked flaky and nutty butter horns, chewy white chocolate crinkle cookies, sweet and tart apricot rollups, and Christmas-themed sugar cookie cutouts. Needless to say the kids, and the adults, were hyped-up on sugar after eating way too many cookies
But New Year’s is right around the corner and there is still plenty of celebrating to do. Not everyone has tons of time to cook or bake, so this week I’ve developed a simple delicious pear and ginger snap crisp that can be assembled in a relatively short period of time, and then baked off while you’re celebrating with friends.
Pears and ginger snaps are a natural flavor combination. The pears cook and soften releasing their sweet juice and the ginger snap topping crisps up and provides a necessary textural element. Everyone loves pie, but a fruit crisp is a much simpler dessert that doesn’t require making and rolling out pie dough, which can be fairly daunting for the inexperienced baker. If you wanted to go the extra mile, you could easily turn this into a pear pie with ginger snap crisp topping. Either way, you’re going to love it.
I served my pear and ginger snap crisp with whipped cream. I zested the lemon prior to juicing it and folded the zest into the whipped cream. The zest adds brightness and provides an extra hint of lemon to the dessert. The crisp is best served still warm and vanilla ice cream would be a great addition too.
PEAR AND GINGER SNAP CRISP
Serving Size: 4-6
For the pears:
- 3 pounds ripe but firm pears (I used anjou), pealed, cored and cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- For the ginger snap mixture:
- 3 ounces ginger snaps
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons salted chilled butter cut into small chunks
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
For the pears:
- Add the ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine.
- Transfer pears to an 8 x 8 inch ungreased glass or ceramic baking dish.
For the ginger snap mixture:
- Add the ginger snaps to the food processor and pulse into fine crumbs.
- Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the mixture resembles course crumbs (sometimes also referred to as texture of wet sand).
- Evenly top the pears with the ginger snap mixture.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until the crisp is brown and bubbling.