On any other day, I would probably go on and on about how how I prefer my chocolate desserts to be all chocolate and my fruit desserts to be just fruit, but for right now, I must say otherwise. And even if I were feeling that way this particular Wednesday, I’d be hard-pressed to get the words out, what with shoveling bites of warm Pear Crisp with Chocolate & Ginger into my face.
As far as late-January desserts go, this is about as good as it gets. I mean, when it comes to warm, soft pieces of pear, bits of melty chocolate and crunchy oat topping with two kinds of ginger, what’s not to love?!
Beyond being delicious, this crisp is wonderfully easy to make. If you are at all intimidated by making pie from scratch, this is the dessert for you. There’s no finicky dough or chilling or crimping, and definitely no lengthy cooling time. In fact, the whole process of making a crisp takes one hour, as opposed to the three or four (or more!) that it takes to make and cool a fruit pie.
To start, pears are peeled, diced, and tossed with sugar, cornstarch, ground ginger, and lemon.
Chocolate chips are scattered over the top.
The crisp topping is made from oats, flour, light brown sugar, chopped almonds, and both ground and candied ginger. Oh, and butter.
Scatter the topping over the fruit, being careful to cover most of the chocolate. This will keep it from overcooking.
Bake the crisp for half an hour and let it cool for ten minutes.
While it’s warm, scoop it into bowls and top it with vanilla ice cream. The recipe says this addition is only “if desired,” but I like to think of it as mandatory.
It really should be.
Pear Crisp with Chocolate & Ginger
makes one 8-inch dish, about 6 servings
4 medium firm-ripe Bosc pears
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 tablespoons candied ginger, minced
3 tablespoons chopped raw almonds (optional)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
vanilla ice cream, optional
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch casserole dish with butter. Set aside.
Peel and core pears. Cut them into 1-inch chunks and place in a medium-large mixing bowl. add sugar, cornstarch, ginger, salt, and lemon juice. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and scatter chocolate chips over the top.
Make the topping. In a medium mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, light brown sugar, ground ginger, salt, minced candies ginger, and chopped raw almonds. Stir together with a fork. Add melted butter and stir until everything is saturated and clumps form. Scatter topping onto the pears and chocolate.
Bake 28-30 minutes, until topping is browned and pears are tender. Tent with foil if anything browns too quickly.
Let cool 10 minutes before serving in bowls with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Cover and refrigerate any leftovers, reheating before serving.