What I adore about a good fruit crisp is all the deliciousness without the crust angst. Crust is my Achilles heel, and I avoid it whenever a better idea will provide a flavor-packed fruity dessert to grace our Thanksgiving table, balancing against the cheesecake and chocolate cake we’ll be having.
Another appeal about this type of dessert is its make-ahead value. Like a pie, a fruit crisp can be fully baked, allowed to cool, and then just covered and kept at room temperature for a day until time to reheat and serve.
What just came out of the oven, in my Homegoods bargain Emile Henry rectangular baker, is this:
BAREFOOT CONTESSA’S PEAR, APPLE & CRANBERRY CRISP
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING:
2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4)…they are ripe when the stem end gives a little; the body of the pear will remain firm, but when you cut into it – so juicy
2 pounds firm Macoun apples (6 or 7)
3/4 cup or more (I added more) dried cranberries
1 tsp each grated orange zest and lemon zest
2 tbsp each lemon juice and orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon & 1/2 tsp nutmeg
INGREDIENTS FOR TOPPING:
1-1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup uncooked old fashioned oatmeal
2 sticks cold unsalted butter cut into dice
Preheat oven to 350 and set a 9 x 12 baking dish onto a parchment-lined sheet pan.
In a very large bowl, add the cranberries, zests, and juices. Peel and cut the fruit into large chunks and add to the bowl as you go, tossing to keep the fruit from oxidizing. Add the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, toss all throughly with your hands and pour into the baking dish.
For the topping, use your stand mixer with paddle attachment. Put everything into the mixer bowl and run on low (#1) speed for about two minutes to form large crumbles. Sprinkle the topping all over the fruit filling, covering completely.
Bake at 350 about 30 minutes, until top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm. If making a day ahead, as I just did, allow to cool completely, cover with plastic wrap, and rewarm before serving