Welcome to Thanksgiving Week here at Leena Eats, where we are celebrating an American ingredient and my bitch, the cranberry. Yesterday we started off with my favorite Thanksgiving palate cleanser, a cranberry sorbet with ginger. Today I want to skip straight ahead to my favorite course and Oprah’s, dessert. Cranberry is a great fruit to use if you have non-sweet lovers coming, because it provides a nice, tart accent to any dish. Today’s recipe: cranberry, apple and pear five spice crisp. Holla. When it comes to making crisps, I hardly ever use a recipe. I like to take whatever fruit is in season, toss it in some sugar and cornstarch (to promote thickening of the juices), throw some crumble on top and call it a day. I do like using a recipe for the actual crumble, because the ratios are important to achieving a delicious and crispy crisp. This particular crisp is inspired by a dish I learned from a killer pastry chef, Paula Haney in Chicago. It uses Chinese five spice instead of cinnamon and nutmeg for the flavoring, which really gives the fruit an exotic and mysterious flavor that no one can quite put their finger on, but everyone seems to love. And of course, it features this week’s star ingredient, the cranberry, which gives a needed lightness to an otherwise rich crisp.
Crisp topping: ? cup flour ? & 1/8 cup granulated sugar ? & 1/8 cup brown sugar, packed 1/4 cup sliced almonds ? teaspoon kosher salt ? cup oatmeal ? pound (1 stick) of cold unsalted butter, diced Place all ingredients into a work bowl. Using a pastry cutter, forks or your hand, work the butter into the rest of the ingredients until you have large crumbles. Alternatively, if you have a standing mixer, you can use the paddle attachment to achieve the same recipe. Place crisp in the fridge in a covered container until you need it. It also freezes well, so I always make some extra and store it for last minute crisps. Crisp Filling: I have giving ratios. But if I had to… 2 apples 3 pears 1 cup of fresh or defrosted cranberries 1 cup of granulated sugar 1/2-1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder (to taste) pinch of salt 1 T cornstarch Preheat your oven to 350 F. Peel and chop the apples and pears into large diced chunks. Toss them and cranberries with the sugar, cornstarch and five spice until evenly coated. Place into a buttered baking dish (I used an 8 inch square cake pan), and sprinkle the top with crumble until almost all of the fruit is covered. Bake for one hour, or until crisp is brown and fruit is bubbling. Serve with vanilla ice cream.