Monday, February 2, 2009

Winter Fruit Crisp with Cognac Ice Cream


Before I even start this post, I need to publicly thank Matt (of the blog Wrightfood, and whose praises have been sung here in the past) and his beautiful wife Danika for the amazing meat party they threw for Seattle area bloggers two weeks ago. It was really cool to finally meet Matt in person, as we've been blog buddies for the last year or so. Those of you who are familiar with his blog know his photos totally smoke most cookbooks. I am pleased to announce that the food tastes even better than it looks. Matt, who is primarily a seafood guy- but I think he prefers the term "bloke", went all out with rillettes, game pate, and slow roasted pork shoulder- just to mention a few of the goodies. Each course was pared with wines lovingly selected by Catherine Reynolds of Queso y Vino. And I was humbled beyond words when Matt asked me to prepare the dessert (which was NOT the crisp you see above. With course after course of homemade charcuterie, fruit crisp just wouldn't cut the mustard). We left the party giddy from wine and with happy tummies. To read more about this meaty soiree (or to get really jealous) check out Matt's post.

Now, about this crisp...

While it may not be quite elegant enough to follow a 4 course carnivorous orgasm, it certainly stood up to the hoppin' john we had post superbowl yesterday. Nothing soothes the sting of watching the cardinals lose like a plate of beans, greens, and piggy.


It's all about the topping with this one. The fruit and ice cream is irrelevant to me. The key is the temperature of your butter when mixing the strudel. You want it to be cool, set at room temperature for just long enough to take off the chill. Of course, it all depends on the environment you are working in- but I usually take the butter out of the fridge, cut it into cubes, and let it hang out on the counter while I gather the remaining ingredients. By the time I'm ready to mix, the butter is right where I want it.

You can use this topping for any fruit and it will be delicious. I had some poached quince, granny smith apples, and dried cranberries (plumped up by a soak in scalding hot water). I make this at work with a combination of pears and sour cherries, which will soon change to rhubarb, as I just heard it's now available from our produce vendor (!!!!!!!)
So use what you've got. Toss in a little sugar, spices if you want em (I usually don't), and a splash of melted butter. You're good to go. You can make make a big batch of the topping and freeze it for when you need to pull a dessert out of your ass.

The ice cream was a no brainer, as a healthy glug of V.S.O.P makes any fruity dessert happy. The excess amount of booze in the ice cream gives it a soft, velvety texture right out of the freezer. This ice cream is also really good with warm chocolate cake- the fuggy flourless kind. Though, I am sure I have failed to surprise anyone with that little nugget.


Next post, I promise to refrain from using my little oval bowls and doilies. I am also realizing that I cannot remember the last time we saw chocolate here....hmmm.


Crisp Topping
Yield....lots. I usually just scatter a few handfuls over my crips and freeze the remainder

1/2 # butter, cut into cubes and slightly softened*
3 oz. chopped pecans (just shy of 1 cup)
5 1/2 oz. rolled oats (about 1 1/2 cup)
8 oz. flour
5 oz. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Combine everything except the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix on low speed, using the paddle, until well combined. Add the butter and mix on low until all the dry ingredients have been moistened by the butter and the mixture is clumpy. Do not let the mixture turn into dough.

*see instructions in post

Winter Fruit Crisp
Yield- 4 individual crisps

3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1 1/2 " chunks
4 oz. poached quince, strained
1/4 cup re hydrated cranberries**, strained
1 tsp lemon juice
3 T sugar
2 T melted butter
1 cup crisp topping

**Cover dried cranberries with boiling water and let sit for at least 45 minutes.

Toss together and divide amongst 4 ramekins or small bowls. Top each bowl with 1/4 cup crisp topping.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes- until topping is brown and fruit is bubbly.



matt wright said...

First off - thanks so much for the praise!!! It was awesome meeting you and Brooke, and I am so glad you enjoyed yourselves! I have never, and most likely will never again have my food called a "cnivorous orgasm".. maybe I will put that in the title of my blog..

Anyhow, the desert at the party ROCKED. you need to blog it. The only course where everyone was completely silent.

And this crisp. Looks awesome! Crisp's are one of my favorite desserts, and you have hit the nail with this one. And Cognac ice cream? who cannot LOVE that???

peter said...

I can always tell when you've put up a post because you come comment on my blog. But this time I actually came over all by myself. Are you proud of me? Proud enough to make me cognac ice cream? Armagnac? Just plain yak?


If you could make little cones with the Gucci logo all over them, I bet this ice cream would feature prominently in many videos with diamond grillwork, ass-clapping, and bouncing cars.

Foodycat said...

Nice! I like a fruit crumble (as we Australians term a crisp) and I always put oats in mine, too. But your icecream puts this in a class above!

Brooke said...

I need to special order a gallon of that cognac ice cream for CK, please. If you could just go ahead and get on that, it'd be great. Maybe a gallon of coffee ice cream too, while you're at it.

The Spiteful Chef said... it wrong to eat leftover "crumb" with a spoon? Like, instead of freezing it? While the butter and sugar are still raw? Cuz, uh, that's what I do.

Brittany said...

Matt- hugs to you and Dani.
In my haste, I forgot to photograph my dessert! Trust me, I've been kicking myself thoroughly.

Peter- Life aint nuthin but bitches and money.

Foodycat- The ice cream doesn't hold a candle to the crisp itself. I can't resist anything with a brown sugar crack-like topping. Be it crisp or crumble.

Brooke- Maybe there will be a surprise for you in the freezer when you housesit. a severed head...

Kristie- what you do while high is none of my business.

Heather said...

I can't stop thinking about the Lady's Man saying "Couvathier" with that speech impediment.

Brittany said...

Heather- I know! I really wanted to use the term "wankular softitude" in this post, but couldn't find the right place to squeeze it in.

AnticiPlate said...

crisps are my favorite food of all time. I even had one at my wedding instead of wedding cake.

Emily said...

I'm in love.

Thanks for the tip on the butter. I usually just use it cold, cut into pieces, but it makes sense to let it warm up.

Ann said...

I am always ALL about the topping too. Okay, well, that and the booze!

cook eat FRET said...

i've read this post 3x. i can taste the ice cream w/o eating it. i mean really... the whole velvety thing. mmmm... think of all the calories i'm saving by cyber eating.

peter is shameless...

Peabody said...

Oh my. This looks delish. The Cognac makes is extra special.

Heather said...

Hey, I'm gonna be in Seattle on the evenings of the 23rd and 24th. You and/or your sis wanna drink? Shoot me an email. heather at voodooandsauce dot com.

Brittany said...

Kari- Thats brilliant! Wedding cake is usually gross anyway. Good call.

Emmie- yup, just take the chill off it slightly and it will mix in easier

Ann- topping/booze: the simple pleasures of life...

Claudia- I've tried cyber eating my way through your blog. I'd rather be eating the real stuff.

Peabody- Cognac makes everything better.

Heather- Looking forward to next Monday!!

Elyse said...

What a perfect winter treat. I'm all about the streusel topping--you're right: forget the fruit and ice cream, it's all about the streusel. I can't wait to try this!

HH said...

I just made the crisp (crumble as I call it) today, it was great! I used pears and apples for my fruit, so not fancy, but very nice! And I have some in the freezer for later.

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katty said...

I really like the cream and combine it with another kind of ingredients. It drives me crazy, and i love to spend time with my friends and i like to prepare some cakes with too much cream.

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