The easiest, healthiest pear-apple crisp you’ll ever love

The easiest, healthiest pear-apple crisp you’ll ever love

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Korea

Just a short bike ride away from my house, there’s a sweet little public garden where children can learn all about herbs and growing things. There’s also an old orchard, and all of the fruit that grows there is free for the taking.

Upon return home from a recent forage with three juicy apples and two rather bland and hard pears in hand, I began my internet search for a healthy, sugar-free dessert. All the pear and apple crisp recipes I found called for what I would consider exotic ingredients. I have no almond flour in my pantry, and I can't recall having ever even seen spelt flour sold in any of our local supermarkets. So I pared down a mash-up of the recipes I found online to a bare minimum of ingredients that I happened to have at home, and to my surprise, the results were delicious. If fast, inexpensive and easy—and pretty healthy too—describes the way you like to bake, you should appreciate this one. The following recipe results in a dessert that makes generous servings for two, but could also feed three at a stretch.


Start to finish: 45 minutes (10 minutes active)

Servings: 2-3

Three medium-sized apples

Two medium-sized pears

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup oats (“Haferflocken,” either “zart” (delicate) or “kernig” (hearty) will do if you’re shopping at a German supermarket)

½ cup applesauce (“Apfelmus”), preferably sugar-free. I used a type that contained pureed mango as well.

¼ cup coconut oil

1 tablespoon of honey

Preheat oven to 180°degrees Celsius /350° Fahrenheit.

Into a slightly greased baking dish or pie plate, place fruit that you have peeled, cored and sliced. I used an oval baking dish that was roughly 6 inches by 9 inches. If you have all apples or all pears on hand, that’s fine as well. Other fruits could work in this recipe as well.

Mix fruit slices with half of the salt and half of the cinnamon.

In a bowl, mix together the oats, applesauce, and coconut oil. Add the remaining salt and cinnamon. Once mixed thoroughly, spread the mixture evenly atop the fruit.

Bake for 20 minutes, checking every five minutes or so thereafter to ensure the topping doesn’t get overdone.

Once the top is nicely brown, remove from oven and sample the fruit to see if your crumble requires any additional sweetness. If so, melt the honey in the microwave. Move the topping aside as best you can, pour over the fruits, and patch the topping back over the top. I found my apple-pear mix crisp required that extra bit of sweetness provided by the honey, whereas my apples-only crisp was perfect without it.

Return to oven to finish baking, approximately 10 – 15 additional minutes depending on the hardness of your fruit and your oven. Check frequently, poking fruit slices with a fork to check for softness and making sure the top doesn’t burn.

I’ve never seen a recipe that called for this, but before I finish baking my crisps, I like to take them out of the oven, stir the fruits and topping together, and then bake them a little longer. I like the mixture of oats and fruit within and the texture of the fruit that has been exposed. But this is simply a matter of preference.

Fruit crisp desserts taste great with add-ins such as walnuts, raisins or dried cranberries, so if you have those on hand, you can mix them in as well. To make a bigger or smaller batch, adjust accordingly while adhering to the 4 parts oatmeal, 2 parts applesauce and 1 part coconut oil ratio.

Enjoy while still warm from the oven, perhaps with a cup of milky Chai tea, or if you’re entertaining, a glass of chilled Gewürztraminer or Chardonnay alongside it is sure to impress.

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