Saturday, October 25, 2008

Healthier Pear, Mango & Cranberry Crisp

It is very gray and rainy here today. Its also somewhat warm and humid, this is Hawaii remember--but it is still the kind of bordering on gloomy sort of day when a bit of comfort food, particularly comfort dessert is needed. On the other hand, too much indulging lately has made me a bit cautious about TOO much comfort. Finding a lightened, healthier version of a fruit crisp in the Fall 2008 Nutrition Magazine, combined with getting a large ripe mango in my CSA box and today's weather made this a perfect opportunity to try this recipe. This Pear, Mango & Cranberry Crisp, found in an article entitled "12 Desserts That Won't Make You Fat", uses fruit, oats, whole wheat flour, agave syrup and applesauce.

Pear, Mango & Cranberry Crisp
Jennifer Danter, Nutrition Magazine, Fall 2008
Ready in 1 hour / Makes 8 servings

4 ripe pears, such as Bosc or Packham
2 ripe mangos
1 lemon
3 Tbsp blue agave nectar
1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
3 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, divided
3/4 cup organic, rolled oats
1 Tbsp sweetened, shredded coconut (optional)
1/4 cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel and core pears, then coarsely chop. Peel mangos. Cut fruit from stone in thick strips, then coarsely chop. Place in a large bowl and grate in 1 tsp lemon peel. then squeeze in juice. Add agave nectar, cranberries, ginger and salt. Stir to mix. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp flour and stir in. Turn into 10-inch, deep-dish pie plate. Pan will be very full but will deflate as it bakes. Place on baking sheet.

For the topping, in a bowl stir oats with remaining 1/2 cup flour and coconut, if using. Spoon applesauce over top. Using your fingers, gently rub in to form coarse lumps. Dollop over fruit--it won't completely cover. Bake until pears are soft and juices bubble, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If topping gets too dark before fruit is cooked, loosely cover with foil. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Spoon into bowls and top with vanilla frozen yogurt.
Calories 190, Total Fat 3 g, Fiber 7g

Results: Yum! The taste is sweet, fruity, nicely spiced from the ginger and a little tang from the cranberries. The topping is crumbly and chewy and the coconut (which I did add but is optional), adds another dimension of sweet chewiness. A really good crisp and you don't pick up the additions of the whole wheat and agave or notice the lack of butter that is often in crisp toppings. I wasn't sure I would like the ginger but it really adds a nice warmth and spice to the crisp and you could easily swap the pears and mango out for other fruit. (You could probably also use honey if you can't find agave to sweeten). With less calories, more health benefits (agave doesn't spike your blood sugar the way regular sugar does for one thing) but great taste, this one is a keeper. (Bonus--it makes your house smell incredible too!)

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!


  1. Oooo Deb, this looks so yummy! I love the pear/mango/cranberry combination, souds delicious, and that crumbly crispy topping looks just perfect. I posted a soup for your Souper Sunday event this morning, can't wait to make another batch for the week ahead :) Thanks for such a great event idea and inspiration to make soups -- which we love but I often forget about as a meal option.

  2. That looks lucious, specially the topping. I made an apple crisp on Saturday, but the topping didn't come out as well as it could have. And yours is healthy!!!!!

  3. I love a good crisp. They are very popular in Canada, usually with fall fruits - I love your more tropical one. The crystalized ginger is inspired!
    I love leftover crisp for breakfast with plain yogurt.
    I am making a soup today (sunday) for your soup initiative - will probably post in the afternoon - I am slow this weekend.

  4. I've been craving mangoes recently and this just doesn't help! Delicious.

  5. Andrea--it was pretty tasty and not too guilty a pleasure. Thanks again for joining Souper Sundays too!

    Arlene--for a healthy topping it was really good!

    Natashya--I am always afraid of things being too ginger but it was such a nice touch in this recipe--no other spices needed.

    Foodycat--sorry about the mango cravings--if i could mail you one I would! ;-)

  6. Hey Deb, just found you on the foodies friday. Love this dessert. I'm always looking for some healthy alternatives and this fits the bill for sure. Great site.


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