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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Betty C. said...

Is there a difference for you between a crunch and a crumble?

I thought "crumble" was the British term, "crisp" the American term and "Betty" (mais oui) an old-fashioned, Southern American term. I've never heard "crunch" for this type of dessert?

Loulou said...

Good question! I did some reading and Baking911.com states that a Crunch is the same as a Crumble only there is a layer of crust on the bottom AND on the top. This is not what I've made.

I gave the dessert a "Crunch" title due to its source. The topping is from an old (circa 1775) recipe for Apple Crunch from the Fraunces Tavern in NYC.

Maybe I should change the name?

Betty C. said...

No, I just think it is intriguing to know about these different terms. I had never heard of the "bottom and top" approach to crumbling, or crunching...

Loulou said...

It is interesting. Did you look at Baking911's definitions?
I've never heard of putting a layer on the bottom and on top. It could be really good though. Nice and crunchy. :)

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Betty C. said...

No, I but I might. I'm curious now about the "Betty" definition. I had never heard of the site, not being a big baker...

Anonymous said...

This was wonderful! Made it tonight and it was really delicious with vanilla cream. I'd love to try it again with the rum whipped cream when I have the ingredients.

Thank you for the generous sharing of your recipes and experience. Love your blog!