Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pear Crisp with Oat Topping

My Paul is one of the funniest people I know. Nobody makes me laugh the way he does. He's been on a roll this week as I have ended up in tears from laughing so hard every single night this week while chatting with him in bed. Little kids love him simply because he can make the most outrageously goofy facial expressions. He has a serious cult following from Matthew's little friends. I have to agree with them...he's certainly something else.

In honor of my cartoonish husband, here is a random collection of some Paul-themed tidbits and quotes.

That grumpy cat face that is so popular on the internet? Paul can totally do that face. It's hilarious. I wish I could capture it on camera, but he can't do it under pressure!


After putting Baby Emma to bed, I came downstairs to find Paul on his hands and knees meowing at the cat. He got up really quickly and looked super embarrassed that I had stumbled upon him communicating with the feline.


Paul's ultimate compliment of any newly discovered spice/sauce/seasoning is to incorporate it into his next hot breakfast: "This chipotle powder is amazing. We HAVE to try it on scrambled eggs!"


Emma was casually running her fingers through Paul's hair and stroking his face. "Awwww! Look at that! She loves you!" I cooed from across the room.

Paul snorts: "No. She's just trying to imprint a memory of her father with hair before he goes completely bald."


"Old Bay seasoning is awesome! We have to try it on scrambled eggs."


Before leaving for work in the morning: "Sometimes I feel so underappreciated at work. I'm constantly running every which way and getting stressed about so many different projects. They're not paying me enough!"

After returning home from work: "Sometimes I worry that I am not doing a good enough job to justify my salary."


Paul, after eating an Indian dish for dinner: "Garam Masala is the best spice blend EVER! This weekend we have to try it on scrambled eggs!"
And after the weekend is over: "Those Garam Masala eggs were really, really gross"


While making a margarita: "I can't do this without a little Jimmy Buffet. You know the one - Turn it on!"

Wife reluctantly finds Margaritaville on YouTube and puts plugs in her ears while husband rocks out with his cocktail shaker. I couldn't make this stuff up.

Paul is pretty lighthearted most of the time, but tends to take mealtime very seriously. He decided this morning that he was going to make breakfast. I had gone to church early in the morning and came back to no coffee and no breakfast in the works. "I'm still thinking about it!" Paul informed me.

About 10 minutes later, he had it. "I'm going to make something with pears - do we have chocolate? Even we have white chocolate?"
When he discovered that we did not have chocolate of any time lurking in the cupboard, Paul then settled for something else: "How does a pear crisp sound?"

At this point we all were hungry enough to eat cardboard, so of course a pear crisp sounded fantastic. My hubby went right to work making the streusel topping and cutting the pears up uniformly. He was very focused and had the whole thing assembled in no time!

What a fantastic breakfast this was - especially when topped with a cool dollop of whipped cream. This crisp was not too sweet and really highlighted the pears. Paul added a little bit extra nutmeg than the recipe called for since we all love that spice and everyone devoured their servings. Emma had four helpings - we had to cut her off eventually or I think she would have eaten the entire crisp all by herself.

Breakfast, dessert, snack, what have you...this is an easy and delicious recipe (I mean, c'mon...Paul made know it had to be easy!).

I really do love you, honey.

Pear Crisp with Oat Topping
from Cook's Illustrated

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
3 pounds ripe but firm pears, preferably a combination of Bartlett, Bosc, and D'Anjou

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. 

Process nuts, flour, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in food processor until nuts are finely chopped, about nine 1-second pulses. Drizzle butter over flour mixture and pulse until mixture resembles crumbly wet sand, about five 1-second pulses, pausing halfway through to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Add oats to food processor and process until evenly incorporated, about three 1-second pulses. Set aside while preparing fruit.

Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and pinch of salt together in large bowl. Peel pears, then halve and core each. Cut each half into 4 wedges and then cut in half crosswise (pieces should be about 1 1/2 inches). Gently toss pears with sugar mixture and transfer to 8-inch-square baking dish.

Sprinkle topping evenly over fruit, breaking up any large chunks. Bake until fruit is bubbling around edges and topping is deep golden brown, anywhere from 27-32 minutes. Cool on wire rack until warm, at least 15 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream!

1 comment:

  1. I first read this post while waiting in line at Ikea where I could smell their cinnamon rolls. The combination of smell and reading convinced me this would be delicious and need to try it.