Pineapple Ginger Fruit Crisp
One of my favorite recipes of all time is a create-your-own cobbler I found back in August. It was as though I couldn’t fail. The amounts were already provided and with just two or three options for each step of the way, I wasn’t overwhelmed into abandonment of the whole idea. The recipe couldn’t get old because it could always be changed with just a few ingredient substitutions. I’ve tucked it away for warmer days.
I wish I was better at creating my own recipes and it’s something I am working towards. A few modifications here and there to a recipe is still my comfort zone.
Most of the time I will stick to a recipe as is the first time around and then make some adjustments when I revisit the recipe a second time. Simple substitutions like incorporating whole wheat flour is a given. Low fat milk or light cream substitutions are pretty run-of-the-mill in my kitchen unless I suspect the extra fat content is crucial for success in a recipe, and then there’s always trusty moderation to fall back on.
I came across a fairly simple recipe yesterday and I was excited to try out one of my new Le Creuset cooking pans. Pineapple fruit crisp was reminiscent of the cobbler I dreamt about on cold winter days when I would give most anything to be back in the orchard of peaches and nectarines.
As I usually do, I stuck with the recipe as is, but sometimes I just need to learn when to go with my gut. The recipe called for 1 TBSP of ginger. While I will admit I am pretty hooked on ginger since I made Ginger Snaps back in November, the amount seemed extreme. Go with your gut and modify my emerging creativity urged, stick to the recipe my hard headed self protested. And so I stuck with the recipe.
The topping was sweet and crunchy, and although quite satisfying I wanted more. And I wanted the nutty undertones that whole wheat flour always brings to the table. For fear of messing with the topping too much I had stuck with all-purpose the first time around. The pineapple was moist without being overly juicy, but the swift kick of ginger with each bite was a disappointment. A disappointment I saw coming from the very beginning.
Here’s the recipe with some recommended modifications (and less ginger) for anyone who is yearning for that summer treat on a cold winter’s day. Please feel free to comment if you find any variations that work in your own kitchen!
Pineapple (with a little less) Ginger Fruit Crisp
Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 1/4 oz whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 oz (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 large fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, cut lengthwise and then crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces.
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 TBSP cornstarch
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375F.
Combine the brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, butter, nutmeg and a pinch of salt into a medium bowl. Using your fingers, rub in the butter until it’s the size of small peas and the mixture resembles coarse and crumbly breadcrumbs. The mixture should hold together when squeezed. Refrigerate, uncovered, while you make the filling.
Put the pineapple chunks in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk a bit of salt, lime juice and ginger. Pour over the pineapple and mix until combined. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the pineapple, then stir again.
Transfer pineapple to a 9-inch square baking disk and sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes, until fruit is bubbling around the edges. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.