This crips is absolute perfection: warm pears scented with fresh ginger and nutmeg, topped with the perfect pecan crumble, and finished with a maple mascarpone cream (and served with vanilla ice cream!!)
With thanksgiving coming around the corner, I’m getting my belly nice and stretched out and ready to be in a 2 week long food coma. In all seriousness, if you have any event to look forward to – family time, friendsgiving, office potluck, etc – consider bringing this dish. It’s a refreshing dessert to bring because it’s not apple pie or pumpkin pie. Don’t get me wrong, I love both of those, but sometimes it’s fun to switch it up a little and do something new.
What’s the difference between a crisp and a cobbler? They’re both fruit baked with something on top, BUT a crisp is topped with a mixture of flour, oats, nuts, sugar and butter while a cobbler is topped with a batter or biscuits. Both are incredibly yummy in their own right. In this case, I went the crisp route because the crumbly and crispy texture is a wonderful contrast to the warm and bubbly pear mixture. Plus, we all know crumb topping is the best part of any dessert!
I roughly followed this recipe by Pioneer Woman (I basically want to live in her house and eat everything she makes). The adjustments I made are as follows: 1. For the pears, I added fresh grated ginger and nutmeg, which makes for a magical base for this crisp. 2. I baked my crisps as individual servings because my sister is amazing and gifted me these adorable ramekins for my birthday. 3. I made a maple mascarpone cream to add that “glitter” to this already amazing dessert.
PEARS. Pioneer Woman says that bosc pears work great for this recipe, which I don’t doubt, but I had a big bag of d’anjou pears (how do you even pronounce that?) on hand, so I used those instead and was really happy with the results. I do recommend using hard pears, though. Because we’re cooking them, if they’re already super ripe and mushy to begin with, they’ll lose all integrity and become an even bigger pile of mush through the baking process (think applesauce consistency). For this crisp, we want the pears to uphold some of its structure. When I was thinking of the flavor of the pears, I immediately thought of ginger, which is a natural flavor combo (in my head, at least). I highly recommend using fresh ginger because it really adds a kick of flavor that is just not replicable with its dried counterpart. The nutmeg adds some warmth to the pears while complementing the spice of the ginger. Seriously guys, these tiny additions make all the difference!
ICE CREAM. You must serve this crisp with ice cream!! Well, I guess it’s optional, but why would you skip it? My love for hot and gooey things served with vanilla ice cream is kind of absurd, so I guess I’m kind of biased. But really, the contrast in textures, temperatures, and flavors is so incredible! You can serve it with store-bought ice cream, but if you’re really cool and make your own ice cream at home, you can use that too. You can even try it with some banana nice cream if you’d like!
MAPLE MASCARPONE CREAM. Mascarpone cheese and maple syrup both have mild but distinct flavors that lend themselves extremely well to this crisp. Not only that, but the creaminess of the mascarpone is absolutely incredible because as you drizzle it on the hot crisp, it melts into a lovely cream that adds moisture and richness. Even though there’s already ice cream involved, I highly recommend this cream too. You won’t be disappointed.
CANDIED PECANS. I had some candied pecans on hand, so I threw them on top as an extra topping/garnish. Turns out, that was a great idea (sometimes I’m brilliant without even knowing it). It echoes the pecans in the crumble, and adds an additional crunch factor. Plus, when are candied nuts ever a bad idea? Definitely not essential, but highly recommended.
I hope you devour and enjoy this crisp like I did. Plus, it’s fruit, so it’s in your best interest to have multiple servings! I hope you enjoy! Hugs & kisses and all my best wishes!
- 4-5 whole large pears* (see note)
- 1cup white sugar, divided
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg, divided
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pecans, very finely chopped
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 8oz mascarpone cream, softened
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- Vanilla ice cream and candied pecans, optional toppings
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Peel, core, and dice pears. Place in bowl with 2/3 cup sugar, ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp salt. Set aside.
- Make crumb topping. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, 1/3 cup white sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and pecans. Slowly drizzle in melted butter, stirring with fork.
- Pour pears into baking dish** (see note). Top with crumb topping.
- Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
- Move baking dish to top rack for additional 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
- While the crisp is baking, make maple mascarpone cream. Mix together mascarpone cheese and maple syrup. Add more maple syrup if desired for additional sweetness.
- Serve crips warm with maple mascarpone cheese, vanilla ice cream, and candied pecans.
- *The original recipe recommends bosc pears. I used d'anjou pears. Any firm pear will work.
- ** Bake in casserole dish or 9x13 baking pan OR individually in ramekins (expect 8-10 individual servings).