I have a real problem with crisps. It may or may not stem from the fact that I have a real problem with following a recipe and being consistent. Regardless of where it comes from, it's meant my battle for the perfect crisp is no new thing. Last winter I accidentally made a delicious crisp and was unable to replicate in my next 4 attempts. It was frustrating. Fortunately for everyone involved, I persisted and have arrived at my new favorite crisp (and let's be honest, even all those mediocre crisps in the middle weren't really a loss). There's probably a life lesson for me in there, but I'm mostly interested in the crisp.
This crisp in particular.
On a different note, this weekend I went to visit my dear claire who lives way, way far out in the middle of the mountains. As could be expected, when you're a magical delight like claire living in a little seemingly nowhere town that even the internet often refuses to acknowledge exists, it sometimes gets lonely. Even when you are helping the little children grow up healthy and well-adjusted. So, my fun cousin and I went out to explore with claire and have a fun weekend.
And here's where these stories converge. My cousin sent me the link to this Apple Cider Sangria. So of course we made it. But we're just 3 girls in the face of all that sangria and also we had to visit the Bucksnort Bar because that's just not a chance that's going to come up everyday. So, the next morning we faced a surplus of Sangria. I hate to throw anything away, so I strained the apple and pear chunks from the Sangria and came home to make the best crisp I've ever made. It's sweet, but it's got a lot more happening than just the sweet cinnamony-ness of a regular crisp. It has some real depth of flavor, and it's not all bad that as a prerequisite you have to make the sangria. That sounds like a party plan to me.
This was all that was left of the crisp approximately 15 minutes after it cooled.
Boozy Apple Pear Crisp
3 medium large honeycrisp apples, cut into small chunks
3 medium pears, cut into small chunks
* These had been soaking in the sangria mix for about 2 days by the time I made the crisp. So if you aren't going to make the sangria, I suppose you could just soak them in a apple cider, brandy, pinot grigio mixture, but at that point, really, just make the sangria too. You won't regret it. Promise.
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt ( I only had salted butter, normally I add a bit more salt with the unsalted butter)
1 heaping 1/2 cup of white sugar
1 stick of butter (cold)
1 tsp vanilla
sprinkle of Penzey's Pumpkin Pie Spice and Cinnamon
1 cup oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans
The smaller chunks soaked up more flavor and cooked faster.
First, dump your apple, pear, booze mixture into your baking dish. I left a bit more liquid in this time that I will next time. It was a tad too soupy for me.
Yumm... All that boozy goodness to cook in.
Then, for my crisp topping, instead of dumping everything in at once, I mixed the flour, spices, sugars, butter, vanilla with my fingers until it was small clumps and well mixed,
I added the oats and pecans. For some reason, this really revolutionized my crisp topping texture. It was crunchy but not dry and the ratios of flour to sugar to oats really worked too. It was super delicious. Try it.
Because the apples and pears were already pretty soft and much smaller chunks than I normally use for crisp, I only baked it for about 20 minutes at 375.