Monday, November 21, 2011

Blackberry Pear Crisp -- Oh so yummy!

Yesterday we had some friends over for dinner and I was wishing for some dessert that I could eat while not sabotaging my weight loss efforts (6 pounds gone so far!)  I have plenty of raw food desserts up my sleeve, but I wanted something warm and without any kind of flour.

I noticed some blackberries in my fridge and thought they would taste wonderful in the oven.  So I went through the options.  Pie?  No.  Cobbler?  Another no.  Crisp?   Oooh, I love apple crisps or any of those fruit crisps with the crumbled oatmeal topping.  But those have butter, sugar, sometimes flour, and yes, oatmeal.  The only food I'd allow was the oatmeal.  So I started to think. . . If I started out with a raw food recipe, but cooked it, it would still be whole foods and would be better than the traditional crisp recipe.

I remembered that I can make a cookie dough like paste from equal parts of walnuts and dates.  So I blended up a cup of each.  Then I mixed it by hand with a cup of oatmeal and had my crisp topping!  How simple is that?

Next I got out the berries (I had 2 cups) and saw that it wasn't quite enough for a crisp on its own.  I wanted enough to be able to share with guests and not just have my own private dessert while they ate the brownies I'd already made.

I remembered I had some pears in the pantry that were perfectly ripe and thought, "Oooh, yes, I love baked pears!"  So I washed and cut 3 pears and mixed them with the berries.  I chopped the bigger berries in 1/2 just to get them more mixed in with the pears and added a tablespoon of pure maple syrup since store-bought blackberries aren't nearly as flavorful as handpicked. 

Then I put the berries in a round baking stone, topped it with the oatmeal mix and realized I should add a little holiday flavor.  So I sprinkled about 1/2 t. of pumpkin pie spice over the top of the mix.  That could have been blended in earlier, but it worked this way for me.

I baked it for about 1/2 hour at 350 degrees and covered it in foil after about 5 minutes because I could see that the topping was browning far too fast (perhaps due to the oil content in the nuts?)

It was much tastier than I had expected.  It's definitely a keeper!

 Blackberry Pear Crisp

2 c. fresh blackberries (frozen may work, but I haven't tried it yet)
3 large pears, cut into small squares
1 T. pure maple syrup (optional)

Mix fruit together in a bowl and set in a baking pan

1 c. walnuts
1 c. dates (not soaked)
1 c. old fashioned oats
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice (you may want to increase it to 1 t. if you really love the flavor)

Blend nuts and dates in a food processor until completely smooth.  Mix in oatmeal and pumpkin pie spice by hand. 

Plop the oatmeal dough on top of the fruit to almost cover the fruit.  Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Take foil off and let top brown for the last few minutes.

If you want it to serve more people, you can double the fruit and make it a deeper dished dessert.  Enjoy!

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