Pear-Cranberry Crisp

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If pumpkin screams Halloween and sweet potatoes exude Thansgiving spirit, then cranberries evoke Christmas cheer. I keep a near constant stash of dried cranberries in my pantry throughout the year, but cranberries in their fresh form are only readily available around the winter holidays. Their vibrant hue makes fresh cranberries a festive touch to a wide array of baked goods, side dishes, and desserts.

When cooked, these red jewels break down and release their pleasantly tart juices. In this pear crisp, an unassuming sweetness compliments, rather than masks, the sourness of the cranberries. If you prefer a sweeter dessert, go ahead and add a few more tablespoons of sugar to the topping and/or maple syrup to the fruit filling.

Also feel free to enjoy any leftovers reheated the next morning. Topped with a few generous spoonfuls of Greek yogurt, this heathy crisp doubles as a delicious breakfast.

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Pear-Cranberry Crisp

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup Sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • dash of salt
  • 3 heaping Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 cups chopped, unpeeled Anjou pear (about 3 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Coat an 8×8 inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl. Stir in applesauce until slightly crumbly. Set aside.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients (pear through arrowroot powder) in a large bowl; toss well to combine. Spoon pear mixture into prepared baking pan and sprinkle oat mixture evenly over the top.
  4. Bake at 350*F for about 1 hour, or until the top is golden-brown and crisp. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving.

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