The holidays are upon us, and we simply adore the scents of the season. There is nothing better than the fragrance of fresh pine to remind you that Christmas is coming. A close second are the delightfully sweet baking aromas that have begun to fill our kitchen and our home as we joyfully prepare for the holidays. This warm pear and apple crumble is our first holiday baking endeavor this year; it is made with seasonal apples, pears, and a crumble of ginger snaps that will knock your socks off.
It’s kind of a joke in our house that I am a man who loves candles. Jackie makes fun of me each time she finds me with my nose deep in glass canisters, searching for the perfect new scent at home stores. I like to think that I have a keen sense of smell, which was carefully honed during all of my years spent in the kitchen. The smell of food cooking and sweets baking is sometimes just as enjoyable as the taste of the dishes themselves.
I have searched. There is no candle that can match the heavenly aroma of cinnamon and sugar that fills the kitchen when baking. These little individual pear and apple crumbles (made in Le Creuset Mini Cocottes) are a perfect example. They are rather simple to make, and taste delicious when warm and fresh out of the oven. The apples and pears combined with melted brown sugar taste like a little bite of heaven. The top, made with crushed ginger snaps, has a distinct flavor and a slight crunch, and it finishes warm and chewy. Let the holidays begin!
- 1 Macintosh apple
- 2 pears
- 20 ginger snap cookies
- ½ C chopped pecans
- 4 TBSP butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ½ C Brown Sugar
- ½ C white sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Peel, seed and dice apple and pears and place in bowl covered with water
- In a medium sauce pan, melt 1 TBSP butter and add white sugar.
- Drain apples and pears and add to sauté pan, adding cinnamon and allspice.
- Mix thoroughly and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring until sugar and butter have melted and fruit is coated.
- Transfer to 3-8 ounce oven-safe dishes (a bread pan will work as well).
- In a food processor, pulverize the ginger snaps and place them in a bowl.
- Chop the pecans into small pieces and add to the ginger snaps.
- Add brown sugar and mix well.
- Melt remaining butter and add to mixture, stirring well to "wet" cookie/nut mix.
- Top fruit mixture with crumb topping and place dish(es) on baking sheet to catch drippings.
- Bake for 20 minutes in 350 degree oven.
- Remove from oven and top with ice cream or powdered sugar.