Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chai Spiced Apple Pear Crisp


I can remember my first real cup of chai tea.  It was at a vegetarian Indian restaurant, back when I was in highschool.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I ordered it, but I had an open mind.  When it arrived at the table the fragrant aroma immediately hit me.  "Be careful, it is very hot!" the waiter warned (with an Indian accent), as he placed the steaming mug in front of me. I held it up to my nose, and it was spicy and aromatic.  I didn't wait long to taste it despite the warning.  It was thick and rich due to the whole milk added to it, but most importantly it was deliciously spiced with cardamom, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and cloves.  It warmed me from the inside out.  I have had chai tea at other places since then, but it just wasn't as good.  Most coffee shops overly sweeten it and some of the flavor of the spices is masked.  I was drinking a cup of chai tea at work recently sans milk and sweetener, and I couldn't help but think how wonderful the spices in the tea would be with apples or pears.   A few nights later, I found myself making chai spiced apple and pear crisp!   


It smelled heavely while baking due to the spices and coconut I had included in the crispy topping!  It was delicious once warm enough to dive into...I topped it off with cool coconut ice cream, and was transported to a happy place. 


It was spicy and sweet, the soft warm roasted fruit so wonderful with the crispy coconutty topping and cool silky ice cream.  I think this is the only way I like my chai sweetened...in a dessert with fruit!  If you love chai spices you must try this!  Here is the recipe... your nose and your tastebuds will love you if you make this!   


Chai Spiced Apple Pear Crisp
Serves 2 generously

3 large honeycrisp apples (or other tart apples), cut into small chunks
3 large d'anjou pears (or bartlett), cut into small chunks
4 Tbsp maple sugar
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp maple extract
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
Topping:
6 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
3 Tbsp maple sugar
4 Tbsp cold Earth Balance vegan butter
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup large flake coconut

Two 5 or 6 inch wide deep dish ovenproof bowls or pie plates

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the rack at the center position. Place a baking sheet lined with foil on the rack. Spray two 5 or 6 inch wide pie plates or bowls with cooking spray. In a large bowl, toss together the apples, maple sugar, 1/4 cup flour, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, maple extract, vanilla, and 1/4 cup flour. Spoon into prepared bowls or pie plates, and cover with foil. Place plates on baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes until fruit is cooked through and bubbling. Meanwhile, to make the topping, combine the flour, sugar, oats, butter and salt in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender, or 2 knives, cut butter into the flour until it is in pea sized chunks and clumping together. Add oats and coconut. With hands, squeeze the mixture together forming larger chunks as well as incorporating the oats and coconut until evenly distributed as you go. Place in the fridge until the crisps are ready to top. When the fruit has baked for 35 minutes, and is bubbling, remove from the oven and top with the crisp mixture. Place back in the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until lightly brown and toasted (keep a close eye on it as coconut burns very quickly). Remove from oven and let cool until warm...enjoy!

5 comments:

  1. I love a good crisp! The addition of chai spices is a great idea.

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  2. The wife and I make a mean apple crisp, but I love the idea of using Chai spicing! I'll definitly try this next time we make a crisp :) Got plenty of picked apples to use up, anyways!

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  3. Loving the look and sound of this. Even more pleased there is not a nut in sight so I can enjoy some too (once I've made it, of course!).
    Thank you for posting another scrummy recipe.

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  4. love, love,love it! Great creativity with the chai spice.

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  5. Love the idea of adding chai spice to it!

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