Pear and Cherry Custard Crisp

7 12 2010
I had the pleasure of making this crisp with one of my great cooking buddies over Thanksgiving. We had a ball developing this recipe. We served it with whipped cream and whipped cream cheese mixed together with a little vanilla and honey. We lovingly call that “crack”. You get the idea. We found this recipe quite interesting with the addition of a custard to the filling. It prevented the filling from being too soupy.

Topping:

3/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup instant rolled oats

1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

3/4 cup date sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp grated nutmeg

2 tsp grated lemon peel

1 tsp salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Custard:

4 large eggs

2 cups creme fraiche

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp flour

Filling:

5 1/2 lbs firm ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch chunks

1 1/2 cups dried cherries

3 tbsp lemon juice

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 tbsp grated lemon peel

cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 11″ x 15″ glass baking dish. For the topping, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add in the melted butter and vanilla and mix together with a fork until a crumbly consistency.

For the custard, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the creme fraiche and vanilla. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk in until smooth.

For the filling, put all the pear chunks and cherries in a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, cornstarch, coconut sugar and lemon peel. Add the the fruit. Season with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Put filling in the prepared baking pan. Pour the custard over. Using fingers, crumble the topping over the the filling/custard combination. Bake until pears are tender, custard is set, and the topping is golden brown, about 45 minutes.


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