Quick, satisfying pear crisp for any season

The Associated PressMarch 6, 2013 

Sometimes, you really crave a dessert. But making it takes time.That’s where this recipe comes to the rescue.

It’s a quick, easy and delicious pear crisp that calls for just five ingredients – pears, granola, lemon juice, apricot jam and a pinch of salt.

Pears are just now at the tail-end of their season. Yes, I know we can find pears all year these days. But believe me, those specimens are going to be nowhere near as electrifying as a fully ripened in-season pear.

The problem is the relative rareness of such pears. Ralph Waldo Emerson was onto something when he wrote, “There are only 10 minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat.”

In other words, most of the time, no matter where it comes from, our pears aren’t at the peak of perfection. When pears are unripe and you don’t have time to let them ripen, this recipe comes in mighty handy.

Baking an unripe pear not only makes it tender, it also crystallizes and magnifies the fruit’s flavor. Happily, any kind of pear will work in this recipe, as will a mix of varieties.

Pears also have a lot to offer in terms of health. They’re a good source of vitamin C and a great source of fiber.

As for granola, there are many brands in the cereal aisle of the supermarket.

The problem is many of them are laden with fat and sugar even as they masquerade under a healthful halo.

That’s why the recommended portion on the back of most granola boxes is just 1/4 cup.

Pour yourself a normal portion and you might as well be tucking into a breakfast of waffles and sausage.

So when you shop for granola, look for a brand that’s lower in fat, sugar and calories than the competition – one that has a lot of nuts, seeds and dried fruit. And if you want to bump up the nutritional value of this recipe, you also could add 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed.

With all of that said, I wouldn’t worry too much about the amount of granola in this recipe. Per serving, it’s about what the granola box recommends and mostly serves to put the crisp on this pear crisp.

You’d be much better off serving this dessert for breakfast than downing a big bowl of nothing but granola.

HEALTHY from C3

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