Tag Archives: brown sugar

Food Matters Project #32: Cardamom & Pistachio Pear Crisp

And we’re back with another installment of the Food Matters Project!  This past week, on February 1st, this little project celebrate it’s 1 year anniversary!  I’m really glad that I have been involved in these weekly posts- it’s given me an opportunity to think a little outside of the box, and encourage me to try different recipes.  Most of all, it’s been a wonderful opportunity to connect with other bloggers who enjoy a great cookbook!  Thanks to all those that participate, and all the readers at home!

This weeks recipe was chosen by Camilla, of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  She chose Mark Bittman’s recipe for Cardamom-Scented Pear Crisp, from the Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out Camillas post on her Cranberry & Pear Cardamom-Scented Crisp.  Also, take a peak what other bloggers did with this recipe.

Camilla has also hosted these Food Matters Project dishes: Wheat Berries with Braised Beef & Parsnips, Fish Nuggets Braised in Rhubarb Sauce.  While we were still on our honeymoon during one of those recipes, here’s the fish version of our dish: Cod in Spicy Rhubarb Sauce.

Whenever I go to the grocery store and see that a bag of pistachio’s is “buy 1, get 1 free”- I always grab a bag (or two).  They are a versatile nut that can be used in many baked goods, or they’re a perfect mid-day snack.  How do you use or eat your pistachio’s?

Pear Crisp

This was a great dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  This dish was delicious since it was not overly sweet, a perfect pairing with tea in the morning.  Sam and I finished it off as breakfast leftovers with some honey-flavored Greek yogurt.

Pear Crisp

Cardamom & Pistachio Pear Crisp
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg 568)

4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped unsalted pistachios
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
pinch of salt
2 pears, cored & sliced
1 tsp cardamom

In a large bowl with a mixer, cream together butter, oil and sugar.  Then stir in the pistachios, lemon juice, oats, flour and salt.  Mix until the ingredients are combined.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Spray a tart pan with cooking spray, or grease it with butter.

Press the dough into a tart pan, using only 3/4 of the dough.  Next lay out the pear pieces on top of the dough, then sprinkle with cardamom.  Lastly, sprinkle the last of the dough over the pears.

Bake the crisp for 30 minutes, or until the crust starts to brown.  Serve once it cools with a scoop of ice cream.

Apple Cake with a Cinnamon Crumble Top

Although summer is one of my favorite seasons, I think I’m ready for a new one.  Fall, with it crisp air, root vegetables and football games will be welcomed with opened arms.  But until the weather changes, I’m still in summer mode, searching for fall recipes and marking the one’s that will be tried out soon. 

But I needed to try just one that I had recently found.  The September Book Club was at my house, so it was a good enough reason to make a dessert.   The apple cake, almost a crisp, was so light and airy, it didn’t feel like a fall dessert, so this one would be perfect end-of-the- summer/early fall way to finish off a meal.


Apple Cake with a Cinnamon Crumble Top
Adapted from: Cooking After Five

cooking spray
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 stick & 4 tbsp softened, unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
2 green apples, peeled, cored & chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)
2 tbsp confectioners sugar (optional)

Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp of cinnamon, 4 tbsp softened butter.  Mix together until it turns into coarse crumbs.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 stick of softened butter and 1 cup of brown sugar until it’s light and fluffy.  Then, add the eggs one at at time, beating it well.  Slowly add in 2 cups of flour, baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp vanilla.  Then add in the sour cream, and mix well.  Finally, fold in the apple pieces.  Pour the batter into the baking dish.  Sprinkle the cake with the topping.

Preheat the over to 350ºF.  Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes.  Once it turned golden brown, remove from the oven and let it cool for at least 10 minutes.

(Optional) When the cake is ready to be served, make the whipped cream.  Whip about 1 cup of heavy whipping cream using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, add confectioners sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla.  Mix until fluffy.  Top the cake with the whipped cream.

Tart Cherry Pie

This past Thursday, while I was wandering through our Farmer’s Market, I saw these cherries.

There was a sign right next to them, saying that this was their last week at the market…so I bought some!  Once I got home, we gave these a try- and they were sour.  Yikes!  Sam suggested doing a pie with them.  I’m not nuts about cherry pies because they are always so sweet, so at first I was a bit hesitant about the idea.  He promised that when he’d make the pie, it wouldn’t be so sweet.  So we gave it a try.

It turned out delicious- and the nice red color was perfect for the 4th of July weekend!  Hope you all had fantastic BBQ’s, pies and fireworks!

Tart Cherry Pie

1/2 lb tart cherries, pitted
2 cups of flour
1 1/2 sticks of butter, cold & diced
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 pinches of salt
1/4 cup of ice water

Filling:  In a mixing bowl, combine cherries, 1/4 brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 cup of flour.  Fold together and set aside in the refrigerator to macerate.

Topping: Add the following ingredients into the food processor: 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 stick of butter, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt.  Pulse the food processor until the mixture becomes crumbly.  Gently place mixture into a bowl, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Crust: In a food processor, add 1 cup of flour, 1 stick of butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt.  Turn on the food processor, and slowly add the water.  Stop the food processor when the dough becomes a ball.  Remove from food processor, and wrap the ball in saran wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Turn on the oven to 350°F.  When the dough is cold, place the dough on a well-floured board and roll out until approximately 1/8 inch thick.  Gently fold the dough in half, and transfer to a greased pie tin.  Unfold the dough, and cut away the excess from the edges.

Pour the filling into the pie, ensuring that it’s evenly distributed.  Top the filling with the topping (crumbly dough mixture) and place in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.  Take out from the oven when the crust is a gold brown color.