If I need a sure-fire recipe I look no further than the Barefoot Contessa. She never fails me. This particular evening, we were having dinner in two stages. First we were having a kid dinner at 5pm (our usual dinner time) with my parents. Then, my parents were heading home, the kids went to bed, and 2 grown-up couples were coming to dinner at 7pm. Yes, I know I'm lucky my kids go to bed so early. Yes, every night. At 6:30. It rocks and I strongly encourage those of you who are the beginning of child-rearing to try to have those type of kids, it really frees up the evenings to be with my husband and see other adults. Although the downside is that it takes everything in our power to keep our daughter in bed til 6am, but that's a trade-off I'm willing to make. (See this explanation here)
Back to the dinner. I made a spring salad with roasted butternut squash and candied pecans, a moroccan beef tangine, green beans with shallots,and quinoa with toasted almonds and pomegranate seeds. For dessert I wanted to make the Apple, Pear, Cranberry Cobbler. Except that I prefer the crumble topping from the Peach and Blueberry Crumbles on the previous page of Barefoot Contessa At Home. So I mashed the recipes together to create this one. I made individual ones for the first dinner (better kid portion control) and a larger one for the adult dinner. This recipe also freezes beautifully. Bake just shy of done, cool, wrap in foil, then when you need it, just reheat covered until nice and bubbly.
Hybrid Apple, Pear, Cranberry Crumble:
2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (about 4)
2 pounds firm Macoun apples (about 6)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat oven to 350. Peel, core and cube pears and apples. Mix with other filling ingredients in a big bowl. Let sit while you make the topping. Combine all topping ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until butter is the size of peas. Pour or spoon filling into desired containers (this will make one 9x13 baking dish, or 1 pie and 4 ramekins as I made). Crumble topping over the top of filling with your fingers. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
So before I show yo the step-by-step photos, let me tell you my adjustments to this already hybrid recipe. I didn't have an orange, so I just zested an entire lemon, and used all of it's juice, no measuring. Plus I added a little allspice to warm up the filling. Oh, and not sure what type of apples I used. They were whatever came in my CSA (community-supported agriculture) box that week.