This Asian Pear Crisp is perfect for welcoming in the autumn weather after a long hot summer, with some unusual spice notes instead of the expected cinnamon. Sweet honey wine vinegar from Slide Ridge (Utah local!) brings in an extra layer of flavor.
I ate my first Asian pear last summer. They are crunchy and extra juicy, and look like tiny round apples although they are not related to apples. I helped The Green Urban Lunch Box harvest an Asian pear tree which gave me the opportunity to bake with them and learn about them.
Other firm pears like Boscs would work well in this recipe if you can’t get your hands on Asian pears.
A little info about Asian pears: They are usually expensive in grocery stores (upwards of $1/each for nice big ones) and carefully wrapped so they don’t get bruised, as they are very fragile. These are traditionally given as gifts to be eaten fresh. The trees are native to Japan, China, and Korea, but they can also be found scattered in the US, mostly in the Pacific Northwest but there are some in Utah (very fortunately for me). Unlike other pears, these remain firm and green even when ripe, so ripeness is judged by scent. They won’t look ripe, but take a bite and enjoy the sweet juicy goodness. Even if you decide to go with Bosc pears for the Crisp, get yourself an Asian pear for eating too. You won’t regret it.
- 2-3 lbs Asian pears (about 6-7 large ones) (Anjou, Bosc, or Comice pears would also work)
- 1 Tbsp. Honey Wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, divided
- 1/4 tsp. garam masala
- 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 cup flour (wheat and/or white)
- 6 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
- Chocolate ice cream, for serving
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Quarter and core pears. (peel and chop if desired)
- Put pears in a 2-quart baking dish and toss with vinegar.
- Add 1/4 cup brown sugar, spices, and salt to pears and toss to combine. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix flours and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (or a fork) or pulse in a food processor for a few seconds until combined.
- Spread flour/sugar/butter mixture over pears.
- Bake about 40 minutes, until center is bubbly and top is nicely browned. Let set ten minutes before serving. Serve warm with ice cream.