Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Epic Jess and Jaime Cookout: Pear Ginger Crumble

Despite being ridiculously full from part one of our excellent adventure, Jessica and I decided to soldier on with this pear ginger crumble because dessert is delicious (and I had a dearth of posts to make up for). The result was an incredibly easy to make dish that is the perfect tasty way to end any dinner party.

Pear Ginger Crumble
Adapted From Food Network
Servings: 8
Time: 60 minutes

3 pears and 1 apple! We came prepared...
1/4 cup oat flour or whole wheat flour
2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil

3 lbs ripe pears, sliced
Juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
Ice cream topping (I recommend Jimmy Fallon's Late Night Snack)

Crumble action shot!
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Make the topping by combining the ingredients together in a bowl and mixing with your fingers until the ingredients are moistened (that has to be the weirdest instruction ever).
  3. Get working on the filling by mixing the pears, lemon juice and ginger in a large bowl. 
  4. Add the sugar to the fruit mix and toss to combine.
  5. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and transfer the fruit mixture to it.
  6. Sprinkle on the topping and bake until the pears are tender and the topping ins golden brown (about 40 minutes or if you're impatient heat the oven to 400 and cook for about 25 minutes like we did).
  7. Pose like an idiot with your baking partner and the crumble (make sure to wear an oven mitt).
  8. Let cool for 5-10 minutes then top with ice cream and serve.
Step 7 is probably the most important one.

While attempting to set a record for the lowest combined height of two chefs, we managed to make a pretty delightful dessert. We didn't have enough pears, so we substituted in one apple, which was a mistake. The pears became incredibly tender upon cooking, while the apple remained mildly crisp and was a little distracting. Biting into that crispy crumble atop the delicate pear was a wonderful treat. Additionally, the ginger provided a nice backend to the delectable flavor, but I would recommend adding as much as possibly to really get that flavor out.

Crumbles: Almost all the fun of a pie (Don't worry, Robin, I said almost) without having to make that pesky crust.
The real reason to enjoy a crumble, though, is the ability to smother it with ice cream. We had a difficult decision to make, though, because Jess and Jaime had not one but two varieties of Ben & Jerry's that pitted late night hosts in a battle to the death- Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream and Jimmy Fallon's Late Night Snack. I went with Late Night Snack since it is a pint so deadly that we had to ban it at Erika and Bryan's due to Bryan and I always eating an entire pint in one sitting (that's one a piece, not combined). It was the ultimate addition to the top of the crumble as the saltiness of the chocolate covered potato chips added an entirely new dimension to the dessert that made it an instant classic.

Chocolate covered potato chips make everything better.

And then the cat was introduced to a laser pointer and hilarity ensued. Similar results occurred with Dennis. 

A Brief Indian Interlude

Indian food: the single greatest vegetarian food ever.
While Jess was a masterful baking partner, her most spectacular contribution to the evening was some incredibly delicious Indian food (names of those dishes to come shortly!).  I recall having several very excited conversations with my vegetarian friend at Dan and Sara's wedding about some of her favorite dishes (If you remember from the blogs early days I started out learning how to cook for my vegetarian sister and brother-in-law). This was the first chance I had to taste her cooking, and I can't wait to partner up with her again and learn even more incredible dishes (perhaps a weekly vegan trip is in order).

Apparently, I wasn't taking pictures nearly as well as I thought I was after a few of Jaime and Dennis' homebrews. 

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