Pear Pomegranate Crisp – Even Better with Coconut Cream
Naturally sweet, juicy pears and tart-sweet pomegranate molasses combine lusciously with the pecan studded and cardamom spiced oat topping. Being mostly fruit, Pear Pomegranate Crisp works as well for dessert as it does for brunch and for celebrations. Celebrations such as Valentine’s day, which is less than two weeks away. By way of encouragement, my sweet Valentine, has mentioned that Pear Pomegranate Crisp is his (current) favorite dessert.
Another crisp for your repertoire
I’ve just realized that Pear Pomegranate Crisp is the fourth fruit crisp/crumble recipe I’ve shared with you. Just tells me how far I’ve come since from my years as a pastry chef. Truth is, I don’t bake much anymore. And homey fruit crisps, offer so much, so quickly, so effortlessly. Luxuriously tender and luscious seasonal fruit along with a crisp and flavorful streusel-like topping.
Plus, with just a few substitutions, minimally sweetened fruit crisps easily become gluten-free and dairy-free. And, being lighter and healthier than most baked goods, we feel better eating them and feel better serving them.
The pomegranate in Pear Pomegranate Crisp comes from uniquely tart and sweet Pomegranate Molasses. It’s so delicious you’ll find yourself wanting to eat it with a spoon. Find it in Middle Eastern markets, some well-stocked supermarkets, and of course, online. Though, pomegranate molasses is easily made at home.
♥ Make your own pomegranate molasses
Simply simmer 2 cups of unsweetened pomegranate juice, uncovered, in a small saucepan over low heat until it reduces to ½ cup. Cool the pomegranate molasses completely before transferring it to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pomegranate molasses can be stored in the refrigerator for many months.
My secret for a crisp, crisp topping
You know that soggy layer of crisp topping you often find in fruit crisps just above the fruit? It doesn’t have to be so.
My technique’s a secret only because every recipe I’ve researched puts the topping directly on top of the raw fruit. Once in the oven, the juicy filling blends with the flour in the topping, making for a mushy under layer. Unfortunately, either the fruit is not cooked enough when the topping is done. Or by the time the fruit is tender the topping overcooks.
So, here’s my solution in 2 easy steps:
- Fill the baking dish with the fruit. Tightly cover the baking dish with foil. Bake 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil. Top the fruit with the crisp topping. Bake another 30-35 minutes. Or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is tender when pierced with a fork and the juices are bubbling.
Pear Pomegranate Crisp with Maple Pecan Topping
and Whipped Coconut Cream
- Choose just-ripe pears, preferably organic, in a mixture of varieties such as Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc or Comice.
- Leave the peel on the pears. As with apples, much of their nutrition is in the skin.
- Make the Maple Pecan Topping gluten-free by substituting oat or brown rice flour for the whole wheat pastry flour.
- Make Pear Pomegranate Crisp dairy-free by substituting coconut oil for the butter.
- This recipe is easily multiplied to feed a crowd.
One 7 x 9-inch baking dish (or equivalent), 6 servings Printer-Friendly Recipes
Active time 20 minutes
Total time 80 minutes
Pear Pomegranate filling
4-5 just-ripe pears (2 pounds), cored and sliced 1/4 -1/3-inch thick
1 tablespoon light, local honey
½ teaspoon organic cornstarch
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 ½ tablespoons butter or coconut oil
Maple Pecan topping
Scant ½ cup “crispy pecans” or raw pecans
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons whole wheat pastry flour or oat flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 ¼ ounces (4 ½ tablespoons) cold butter or coconut oil, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
- Core and slice the pears.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix together the honey, cornstarch, ginger and salt in a large bowl.
- Place a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the pomegranate molasses. When it begins to bubble, stir in the butter or coconut oil. When reduced by half, 1-2 minutes, remove it from the heat. Let it cool for a few minutes before stirring it into the honey mixture. Gently toss the pears in this mixture.
- Transfer the pears to the baking dish. Tightly cover the dish with foil.
- Bake the pears for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the Maple Pecan topping: Lightly toast the raw (not crispy) pecans in the 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Pulse together the flour, maple syrup and spices in a food processor until just mixed. Add the cold butter or coconut oil and pulse until it is distributed. Add the oats and pecans. Use the pulse button to distribute them. Though the topping will begin to stick together, keep it quite chunky.
- When you take the baking dish from the oven, remove the foil. Use your fingers to distribute the Maple Pecan Topping over the pears. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the juices bubbling.
- Serve Pear Pomegranate Crisp warm, at room temperature or chilled. Top with a dollop of Greek Honey Yogurt, your favorite ice cream or Whipped Coconut Cream or Whipped Cream.
Whipped Coconut Cream
1 can of unsweetened coconut milk (not light)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Place a can of unsweetened coconut milk either in the freezer for 20 minutes or in the refrigerator overnight. Chilling the coconut milk separates the cream in the can from the liquid.
- Remove the cold and thick coconut cream to a medium bowl along with the maple syrup and vanilla. (Store the remaining liquid in the refrigerator for another use.) Use an electric mixer to whip the coconut cream until it forms peaks, about 3 minutes.