With all this wacky weather lately it’s hard to know from day-to-day whether to grab a light sweater or a heavy jacket. Although this week things seem to finally be balancing out. I have noticed on the forecast nothing but 50-60 degree days here for a while so hopefully we can bid Winter a (not so) fond farewell. Last weekend however, we were still in the midst of 60 degree day here and 20 degree day there.
Due to all that back and forth nonsense, HB got sick and that led to us unfortunately missing my father’s birthday extravaganza. So last weekend we headed up to my dad’s house for a “do over.” There’s nothing I like better than a family dinner so I offered to make a dessert for the occasion. I had all sorts of light, Spring ideas floating through my head the few days before only to be met that Saturday by one of those cold and also VERY rainy days. Ugh! At that point, I wanted nothing more than to make something warm and comforting. I wanted to sink my spoon into something that would be like wrapping myself in a cozy blanket.
As I got to thinking I found myself reminiscing about the incredible cranberry pear pie I had made over the holidays (twice!) It was so good and everyone loved it. Then I decided against it because I really wasn’t in such a pie making mood. I wanted something pretty easy to put together. (That cold rainy day just sucked the motivation right out of me.) Then my mind started mulling over the idea of an apple crisp. Then genius struck!! Why not make a fruit crisp that would incorporate the flavors not only of an apple crisp but also the flavors of that delectable cranberry pear pie?
So, before I knew it crisp pears and apples were mingled together with tart cranberries and just a hint of orange zest. Next, I debated the topping. Maddy can’t have nuts yet so there went my standard crisp topping. I decided to do an oat topping and to that I added gingersnaps. That combination with the fruit was pure perfection! It was a great hit with my family and was a sweet ending to a wonderful belated birthday meal.
Gingersnap Fruit Crisp
4 Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices
4 pears, peeled, cored and cut into slices
1/2 c. dried cranberries
3 Tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 orange
4 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 c. light-brown sugar
25 gingersnap cookies
2/3 c. quick-cook oats
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
– Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with butter.
– In a large bowl, combine the apples, pears, cranberries, lemon juice, orange zest, cornstarch and brown sugar. Spoon into the prepared baking dish.
– In a food processor, pulse the gingersnaps until coarsely ground. Add the oats, flour and sugar. Pulse a few times to incorporate. Add the butter, pulse until mixture looks sandy. (This of course can all also be done by hand. Just coarsely crush the gingersnaps, mix in the other dry ingredients and then the butter. Rub until sandy.)
– Sprinkle the gingersnap mixture over the fruit.
– Bake for 1 hour or until bubbly and fruit is tender. Allow it to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.