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Monday, September 23, 2013

Fantastic Fall: Pear, Sweet Potato and Fig Crisp

Because thinking outside the box pays off.  [At least I hope it will!]

This week's recipe contest theme at Better Recipes is "Best Crisp or Cobbler Ever."  Now, if you follow my blog regularly, you will note that I don't have many dessert recipes on here.  Why? you ask.  Because... science.  Specifically chemistry.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a smart girl. I passed all of my college chemistry classes.  But that doesn't mean I get it.  I'm just really good at following directions.  Which is why I usually stick to following other people's dessert recipes rather than create my own.  [OK, so maybe I'm afraid of failure.  Don't judge me!!]  Baking requires chemical reactions between the baking soda and salt and sugar and other stuff (maybe pixie dust and unicorn hair???).  I don't know.  It's too complicated for me.

However, I can totally handle making a fruit crisp.  I mean, really, you only need fruit and oatmeal and stuff, right?  So yeah, I read about 1,000 crisp recipes online and in cookbooks to get an idea of what I needed to do.  But I did it!!!  I came up with a magical, fall-ish, unique dessert that made my kitchen smell like love and tasted like unicorns prancing over rainbows!  [what???]  I was going for a one-of-a-kind combination of fruit, and I think (in my humble opinion) that I really knocked it out of the park.  (Really, Deanna?  Really?  You just used a baseball reference?  Who are you???)

What I'm trying to say is, get creative with your crisp!  You aren't limited to just apples or berries or cherries.  The sweet potato-pear-fig combo was inspired by my desire to use classic- yet under-appreciated- fall produce.  And I'm quite pleased with the results.  I submitted this recipe to the contest and will be your friend forever if you hop over there and vote for me.    Thanks, friends!

2 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
8 oz dried figs, quartered
2 cups canned sweet potato in heavy syrup, chopped, 3 Tbsp syrup reserved
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp allspice

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine pears, figs, sweet potatoes, lemon juice, heavy syrup (from the sweet potatoes), maple syrup, and allspice.  Stir well to combine.  Pour the filling into the prepared baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine oats, pecans, flour, brown sugar, allspice, and cinnamon, and stir to mix well.  Add the oil and maple syrup and stir well to combine.  Topping should be crumbly but not too dry.  Add in a dash of salt.  Pour topping mixture over filling and pat down.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, until pears are tender when pierced with a fork.  Let sit for about 5 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream, or just by itself!

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