April 14, 2008

Banana and Pear Crunch - A Dessert Experiment

I absolutely love it when my kitchen experiments are a success! (which is not always the case)

Our friends came for dinner Saturday night and I really, really didn't want to go to the grocery store for dessert ingredients. After much thought and searching through cupboards, I resigned myself making something with ingredients that I already had in the house. Besides, who doesn't like a challenge? Time was not on my side by the time I reached this decision, so an elaborate chocolate layer cake or a mousse that needed hours to set were not options.

Apple Crunch is one of those desserts that I make again and again every autumn, usually per my husband's request. The topping is a no-brainer so I figured, why not try making a Crunch with another variety of fruit? (oh, I do like to live dangerously...)

Here's what I came up with.

Banana and Pear Crunch with Rum Laced Whipped Cream
serves 4-6

Fruit filling
3 bananas
2 ripe pears
3 teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Crunch topping
½ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Whipped cream
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons white rum

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Peel, core and cut pears into 1-inch pieces and put into a bowl.
Slice bananas into same bowl and add lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Mix well.
Spoon fruit mixture in buttered, square baking dish.

Crunch topping:
Put the flour, sugar, butter and vanilla in a bowl and work the mixture with your fingers to combine.
Crumble over the top of the fruit.
Sprinkle the optional nuts over the topping.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

Whipped Cream:
In cold bowl add ingredients and whip until thickened.
Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Serve the Crunch in a bowl with a dollop whipped cream.


It turned out to be a fabulous dessert!
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