Everything's Crisp

Planning, testing and tweaking. Recipes, that is.

That's what has me busy these days, in case you've been wondering. Creating, researching, thinking, cooking, tasting, reading and combining. Delicious flavors, that is, for an exciting new project.

Knowing my style of cooking includes a kick from nutrition but a big splash of flavor, it's no wonder life has led me here. After returning from a week in New York, I have been culinarily inspired--and rightfully so. The food scene is alive and fresh with no pretense, simply great ingredients that becomes great food and is served in a comfortable environment that makes you feel right at home.

While David and I were strolling the Wednesday Union Square Greenmarket almost two weeks ago, we wanted to buy everything--the Jersey tomatoes, the corn, the carrots, the cherry tomatoes and the squash blossoms. After exploring the entire market, we agreed to treat ourselves to a gluten-free brownie from La Delicata (an itsy-bitsy brownie I might add that was barely big enough for us to each have a bite) and two New York honeycrisp apples.

But rather than bite into the apples right there, we carefully and lovingly schlepped these two little gems home where we could get them nice and cold and serve with perhaps a dollop of cashew or other nut butter. Crisp, sweet and unforgettable, these honeycrisps needed nothing to accompany them. They were two of the best apples we have ever had.

Though I carried them to our home via the plane, they were "local" New York apples and wow. What a difference locally-grown makes. In Texas, we are forced to eat honeycrisp apples shipped from Minnesota and Washington.

To celebrate those two sublime New York apples and the first rainy weekend in months, this apple and pear cinnamon-pecan crisp is definitely worthy or repeating. Again and again and again.

Buen provecho!
Apple-Pear Cinnamon-Pecan Paleo Crisp
The Cowgirl Gourmet was inspired by this recipe from Elana's Pantry and adapted it

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As soon as apple season arrives, you're going to want to make this crisp. Filled with fall's favorite fruits, it is gluten-free, Paleo and nearly free from sugars. The tender cinnamon apples are laden with a crunchy pecan topping that is even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This Paleo dessert will make everyone happy. The recipe can easily be halved to serve a smaller family.

Serves 6-8

4 organic apples (I used a combination of Granny Smith and honeycrisp), rinsed well, cored and thinly sliced
2 organic pears (I used Bartlett), rinsed well, cored and thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup almond meal (aka blanched almond flour)
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup Spectrum shortening
1 cup pecans
1 tablespoon honey, to drizzle on top before baking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease the baking dish with a bit of coconut oil to make sure nothing sticks. Place sliced apples and pears in the baking dish and squeeze the lemon juice, tossing to coat. Set aside.

In a food processor, add the almond flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon and salt and pulse one or two times to blend. Then pulse in the shortening and briefly pulse in the pecans so they break up a bit and become integrated into the topping mixture.

Dump the mixture on top of the apples and pears and, using your fingers, spread it out to cover every nook and cranny. Drizzle the honey on top of the crisp topping, cover with foil and bake for 40-50 minutes or until juices are bubbling.

Increase heat to 400 degrees, remove the foil and bake another 8-15 minutes until the crisp is nice and golden brown.

Serve with whipped cream, ice cream or as is.
Refrigerate any leftovers and enjoy again soon.
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