Friday, November 22, 2013

Pear Cranberry Crisp (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)

I am trying out a couple of new recipes before Thanksgiving Day arrives so I know which ones I want to make for the day.  This one will certainly be on the menu!   You might be wondering as you look at the photo if that cranberry really won't cause an obstruction.  Well, it is so soft that it honestly could squeeze through a tube of toothpaste!  But that's not what you will be thinking about when you eat this dessert.  You will only be thinking how you can keep it to yourself.  The combination of pears and cranberries is the perfect combination of sweet and tang.  I have enjoyed it as a dessert many times this week, as you will see by the variety of photos. 

This is also a gluten-free and dairy-free dessert.   In August, my physicians determined that I may have another disease process at work, called polymyositis.  It is a disease of muscle inflammation, and a certain subset of patients respond well to a dairy-free and gluten-free diet.  I had always eaten large quantities of bread products, so couldn't fathom what this new dietary restriction might mean for me.   What was most fascinating as I ventured into this new territory of no gluten and absolutely no dairy products ( I previously ate only cultured dairy products such as kefir and yogurt)  was how it improved my digestion almost immediately. But I have no way of knowing if it was the elimination of dairy or the gluten that had improved my digestion since I eliminated both of them at the same time.  I guess that sometime during the upcoming holidays, I may not have the willpower to resist some gluten products, so maybe I will find out for sure.

This recipe is an adaptation of one I found on the blog of Cookie and Kate.  It also gave a gluten-free version of the recipe, but it still contained dairy products of butter and yogurt.   I made it dairy-free by using coconut oil instead of the butter and I used goat yogurt rather than the cow yogurt.  I also strained the goat yogurt for about 30 minutes so it was thick and creamy.  (The brand of goat yogurt I discovered that I like is Redwood Hill Farms.) I also modified the recipe by eliminating the walnuts and substituted Sucanat for the brown sugar. If you aren't familiar with Sucanat, it is a natural cane sweetener. The brand name is an acronym from Sugar Cane Natural and it has substantially less carbohydrates in it than brown sugar. I have purchased it for many years in the bulk section at the Duluth Whole Foods Co-op.  The almond meal used for the topping with the oats is a "staple" in our pantry, because Tom frequently uses it to make his own crackers. (More about those tasty treats another time.)   

But back to this delectable dessert!  When Tom tried it, he said "anyone would like this - it's great!"  The honey-sweetened pears form the basis for this easy, and easy to digest dessert that will grace our Thanksgiving table next week.  

2 Bartlett pears, cored, peeled and sliced into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
3 Tablespoons honey
1 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/2  cup gluten free oats (Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 cup almond meal (Bob's Red Mill)                  
3 Tablespoons Sucanat
1/8 tsp fine-grain sea salt
2 Tablespoons coconut oil - melted
1 1/2 Tablespoon goat yogurt, strained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the pears, cranberries, honey, cornstarch, lemon juice, ginger and cinnamon and place in a small baking dish. Mix the oats, almond meal, sucanat, and salt. Set aside. Melt the coconut oil and cool it a bit. Add it to the rest of the topping mix and stir lightly. Add the drained yogurt and crumble it together, then put it on the top of the fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until all of the fruit is very soft.   Eat and be thankful!

Servings per recipe: 8
Serving Size: 1/8 of the pan
Calories: 147
Total Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 41 mg
Total Carbs: 23 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 2 g

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