Yid.Dish: Apple and Pear Crisp

By Leah Koenig

Published January 15, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

According to Raymond Sokolov’s book, Why We Eat What We Eat, “Before Columbus, there were no apples in the Americas. Settlers brought seeds and grafts, hoping to recreate their old way of life.” Any American who has ever given a teacher an apple (or seen a movie where such an exchange occurred), uttered the words, “an apple a day…” or traversed the produce section of a grocery store or farmers’ market knows that those early settlers succeeded, big time. It’s a good thing too, because, as the apple wove its way into American life and culture, delicious things occurred – like the apple crisp.

JCarrot

Homemade apple crisps arguably rank among the humblest desserts on the planet, containing nothing more than fruit, fat, sugar, and flour. I like that in a sweet. With a crisp, there is no need for the bells and whistles of a layered trifle. They don’t require batter to be scooped evenly onto baking sheets like a cookie and, unlike making crème brulee, there’s definitely no blow torch necessary. It is undoubtedly the crisp’s heimish (Yiddish for “homey” or “comfortable”) nature that makes it a Shabbat dinner favorite, served either as a dessert or during the meal as an alternative to kugel.

That said, because of their simplicity, people sometimes classify crisps as a bit boring – like the cousin you invite over to eat out of obligation, rather than his or her sparkling wit and dinner conversation. But gussied up with just a touch of crystallized ginger and a scoop of freshly whipped cream, the apple crisp holds its own at any table.

Apple and Pear Crisp This recipe adds a touch of sweet pear to winter’s favorite apple crisp. Oddly enough, the morning after I made this warm, cozy dish, it started snowing – and a snowy day just happens to be the best kind of day for apple crisp. Coincidence, or culinary conjuring?

Filling:

2 medium sized pears (like Red Anjou), peels left on, cored and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

2 medium sized apples (like Rome or Winesap), peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

Crisp Topping:

3/4 cup unbleached flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup rolled oats*

1 stick (8 tablespoons) of cold butter, roughly cut into chunks

Optional: 1/4 cup crystallized ginger pieces, chopped finely

*The Joy of Cooking says that, according to the British, adding oats to a crisp topping renders it a “crumble.” But why would you want to crumble?

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Gently mix the apple and pear pieces in a bowl and evenly distribute them in a round, 8-inch ceramic or glass pie dish. Set aside.

Mix the flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, ground ginger, oats and (if using) crystallized ginger pieces in a medium-sized bowl. Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter or your fingers, incorporate the butter until the mixture roughly resembles cornmeal. Spread the topping evenly over the apple and pear and put the crumble in the oven. Cook until the fruit is bubbly and fragrant and the topping is very lightly browned and, well, crisp.

Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Tastes excellent paired with vanilla ice cream, fresh whipped cream, or snow!

JCarrot

Here, my crisp stares dreamily outside, wondering what its snow angel would look like.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.