Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Gingerly" delicious Pear Crumble

They say that "necessity is the mother of invention" but in our house it often feels like "Mother Hubbard is the mother of invention!" 

My husband recently decided to adopt a vegan lifestyle (I know, I don't get it either). and as his loving and supportive wife, I try my best to take his dietary guidelines in the consideration while I stock the fridge with string cheese and try to disguise the cartons of ice cream hiding in the freezer so he won't be reminded of what he's missing out on. I really do try to cook things he can eat, however when he's working late and won't be home for dinner I bust out the the poultry and diary products! So last night when poor hubby came home from work starving, my leftover creamy chicken enchiladas were of little interest to him.  The pantry was empty of vegan friendly options, and all of our fresh produce had been gobbled up. So I did what any exhausted mommy would do. I sent him digging into the crawl space (also known as the dungeon) to forage through our food storage in search of something that would satisfy his cravings. 

He came up about 15 minutes later (Truly, it's scary down there.) carrying a few jars of pears that I had bottled last year. Yeah, last summer I made the mistake of thinking that if I canned and bottled every bit of produce coming into my home it would make me a better mom- a mistake I will not make again. Turns out it makes me a tired, frazzled mom who spent all day canning 8 lousy jars of pears ... that no one will eat. 

So when the hubby asked if he could use them to experiment I told him to go right ahead, and as it turns out- he's a genius. A little dash of ginger, a little (or a lot) of butter... and TA-DA! I think we may have just found a way to use up every last pear in our house! And I may have even found the motivation to can them again this year! 

This dish is delightfully savory and SO easy to throw together! You probably have everything you need on hand right now. *Note*- this recipe is NOT vegan, due to the butter. I guess he was hungry enough not to care. :) 
Cut up your pears and toss them in a greased 9x9 baking dish. 

Then dish up a pear for your daughter because she suddenly decided she DOES like them!

Sprinkle them with a little bit of ginger and a little bit of salt. I know it sounds strange to put salt on your fruit, but don't skip it! Trust me! Something magical happens when the seasonings and the pears mingle. 

Now put your face right down there and smell those pears- another step that is not to be ignored. Mmmmmmmboy!

Gently stir your pears, and then toss the rest of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. 

Dump all that buttery crumbly goodness on top of your pears.

At this point you could sprinkle a little more salt on top if you want. I did, because I know that my husband likes it to be more savory than sweet. It's up to you. :) 
Then toss it in the oven for about 25 minutes or so. 

This crumble is delicious on it's own... but it seemed lonely to me. So I did what I do when I feel lonely and plopped a few big scoops of ice cream on top. 
When given the option between ice cream, and no ice cream... ALWAYS pick ice cream. 

Ginger Pear Crumble 

7 or 8 pears (I used canned, if you use fresh pears, just add a 1/4 c. sugar and add about 10 minutes to the bake time.) 
1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 stick of Butter (softened) 
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp. Salt 
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon 

Cut the pears into chunks and place them in a greased 9x9 baking dish. Sprinkle the ginger and salt over the pears and stir gently to combine. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Mix until crumbly. Pour over the top of the pears, salt lightly, and pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. 

Serve warm or cold. 
Top with ice cream if desired- which in my book is always. 

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