Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pear and Raspberry Crisp

The first time I made this with peaches and blackberries. The anise flavor went incredible with the peaches and I was sure that earthy flavor would go even better with pears. Turns out, I actually like it better with peaches! Maybe it just tasted better in good company- I really need to bake with my girlfriends more often.
None the less, this pear and raspberry crisp was still addictive- I can’t say no to fruit covered in flour and butter. So yes, the crisp was my favorite part. However, I have to say I cooked the pears perfectly so every bite of sweetness was like heaven in your mouth. The raspberries provided a great contrasting tartness.

Normally I would say don’t skimp around when it comes to ingredients. I even bought pears from Green Fields market that were outrageously good but waited too long to make this- those were gobbled up. When we tried this crisp the first time with star anise, it was very flavorful. So of course the day I want to make this our HEB, Walmart, Target, AND Sun Harvest have no star anise in sight. I bought the anise extract but to my relief found the star anise at another HEB. But again, I don’t know why I didn’t really taste it so maybe the extract would have been fine.  
Pear and Raspberry Crisp
6 large pears
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp cold water mixed with 1 tbsp cornstarch
3 star anise
1 cup raspberries
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup oats (one minute cooking oats)
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, cut in cubes
vanilla ice cream, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Peel, quarter, and core the pears. Then cut each piece in half lengthwise.
3. Combine pears, sugar, water, and star anise into a large saucepan. Cover and bring to boil.
4. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit is tender but still holds its shape.
5. Add cornstarch mixture and cook for a minute until it thickens.
6. Discard the star anise, and pour into a 8x8 inch baking dish.
7. Sprinkle the raspberries over the pears.
8. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and butter in a bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
9. Sprinkle over the fruit, then bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
10. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve with ice cream.

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