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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Grateful Dinner Guests Bring Dessert: Raspberry & Asian Pear Crumble

One of the nicest gestures of friendship is the invitation to dinner. Friends who invite to their home for a meal are the friends I happen to like the most. I love having a home-cooked meal prepared for me. As much as I love cooking, eating at someone else’s home offers an introduction to foods I have never had before or a new preparation on a tried and true classic.

However, having a mild obsession with food has its drawbacks. My husband thinks I am a difficult dinner guest to please. But I don’t think so. I do like great food and I have a high standard that I set for myself, but I am always pleased to be invited for a meal and I appreciate any and all efforts our hosts put forward in creating our meal.

Maybe this comes across as showy or “a one upmanship” type thing, but I usually like to bring a little something. Not to display my prowess in the kitchen but as a thank you for the invitation. My lovely neighbour, Jules, invited me over for a girl’s night three weeks ago and after learning that some of the girls were going to show up with bubbly, I thought that I might bring some rose syrup for our drinks. Well, it turned out that all the girls ended up bring beer, and I was the only one with bubbles and rose syrup in hand. Jules laughed and quickly poured me a flute joking that I was being a show off. I realized that maybe she would have appreciated it more if I had brought this dessert instead. It’s my no fail, dead-simple dinner invitation crumble.

The fruits are inter-changeable to reflect your own tastes and what is in season. I like this with apples (or course), strawberries and rhubarb, apricots and almonds, and peaches and raspberries.

3 half-pints raspberries
1 large Asian pear
¼ c light brown sugar
1 tbsp corn starch

4 tbsp butter
½ c flour
1c quick cook oatmeal
¼ c sugar (dememerra)

1. Peel and chop asian pear into small bite size pieces, about the same size as your raspberries.
2. Tumble washed raspberries and asian pear and into a 8 x 8 baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar and cornstarch. (I have added a little bit of sugar here because I find raspberries are slightly tart and the sugar mellows it out abit. This is not a super sweet dish)
3. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Mix flour, oatmeal and sugar. Blend in butter until it resembles coarse meal. Don’t fully incorporate the butter, you still want to see the the little flecks and bits of butter embedded within the mixture.
5. Spoon topping over the prepared fruit. Cover most of the fruit with the crumble mixture, but I always leave alittle around the edges to allow the fruit to bubble up.
6. Place the baking dish on top of a baking sheet (in case of spills) and place in the oven for 35 minutes. Check to see if the crumble has a golden crown and if the fruit has bubbled up a bit. If so, remove from the oven and cool slightly. If not, leave in for another five minutes, check.
7. Cool slightly and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.


Celia said...

Sounds delicious and easy...the perfect combination...also dare I say healthy?! (with 2 fruit servings it's the healthiest dessert I'll ever have).

Wish my neighbours would invite me over for some :) or better yet i'll take care of this and they can bring the bubbly!

Hungry Gal said...

@ Celia

This can be a healthy dessert - except that there is a bit of butter and sugar. But everything in moderation, I guess. :)

I hope your neighbours invite your over for some dessert, too.

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