Sweet Treats

Recipe—Pear and Pecan Crisp

I have these fabulous friends who always have loads of fresh fruits and veggies on hand and I am lucky enough to have them share with me. The other day when I was visiting they had palettes of beautiful golden pears and I was fortunate enough to score some. Saweeet! I waited until the pears were perfectly ripe and then I created this delicious pear crisp for an office party. (My coworkers are so lucky to have me!) It was really a hit and super easy to make. Most people expect apple crisp when they see something like this so the pears are a pleasant surprise. They really were so sweet and packed with juice. Rather than an oat topping like many of my crisps, I made this with a streusel topping. This is a perfect fall dessert. I think I may be serving it up come Thanksgiving!

FILLING INGREDIENTS
5 large pears, cored and diced
2/3 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt

STREUSEL TOPPING INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 c flour
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c pecans, finely chopped
1/2 c butter (1 stick), melted

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine all the filling ingredients, pears, sugar, and salt. Set aside
  • In a separate bowl stir together the following topping ingredients flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans.
  • Drizzle the melted butter over the dry ingredients stirring while you go until it is evenly combined. The mix should be nice and crumbly.
  • Pour the pears into a large greased baking dish (7″ x 11″ worked great for me) and top with streusel crumbs.
  • Bake for 30–35 minutes or until the topping just begins to turn a golden brown.
  • Serve warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Salads

Recipe—Pomegranate Pear Salad with Goat Cheese

When people typically think of big fresh salads they think of summer. Salads are perfect year round if you know how to incorporate fresh seasonal produce. Well here is a perfect fall salad recipe. It is bright, colorful, and bursting with flavor. The flavors all complement each other really nicely. The sweetness of the fruit, richness of the goat cheese, nuttiness from the walnuts, and the bite of the basil create a perfect flavor symphony. This may even be making one of my holiday dinner menus this year.

Note: Many grocery stores now sell containers of the pomegranate seeds all cleaned and ready to use. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of removing the seeds yourself this can be a great time saver.

DRESSING INGREDIENTS
1/4 c pomegranate juice (I use POM)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp brown sugar
fresh ground pepper

SALAD INGREDIENTS
6 c (9 oz bag) fresh spinach
2–4 oz goat cheese
1/2 c walnuts or pecans
1–2 pears, cored and sliced
1 pomegranate, seeded
1/4 c fresh basil, chopped

STEPS

  • Whisk together all dressing ingredients.
  • Toss the spinach with the dressing.
  • Crumble the goat cheese over the salad.
  • Top with walnuts, pear slices, pomegranate seeds, and fresh basil.
  • Serve immediately.