Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ginger Matcha Pear Crisp

I always like the idea of using tea in baking, but haven't tried it much in the past. I had the idea for this crisp on a cold winter day while staring at an old bag of Matcha Izu tea.

Matcha isn't tea like most of us envision—dried leaves in little satchels, or better, loose leaf. Matcha is actually finely ground green tea, and it is bright, BRIGHT green. I imagine it being extremely good for you! But it is not my favorite to drink, try as I might. Which got me thinking, what would happen if I cooked with it? And seeing as this winter day was a pretty good day for a crisp, and I happened to have some green pears, I decided to experiment.

In the list of ingredients I've included a link for New Mexico Tea Company's Matcha Izu tea. They are by far my favorite place to buy tea, and they will ship it to you (at least within the U.S., not sure about elsewhere). If you do buy the Matcha, I also highly recommend the Rosy Earl Grey and Lemon Gunpowder Green, which are both delicious hot or iced.

One big thing to note before getting to the recipe: I don't normally peel vegetables or fruit. I didn't peel the pears the first time I made this recipe, and I regretted it! Take the time to peel them. It's so much better without their crunchy skins.

One other big thing to note: You cannot substitute regular green tea for the Matcha. All you'll get is a crisp with sticks and leaves in it. Matcha dissolves into the juice that the pears release as they bake, leaving a rich green tea color.

One LAST thing. Mincing the ginger into tiny little pieces is much better for this recipe than grating it. If you grate it, you end up with all the ginger fibers throughout the pear filling. If you mince the ginger the pieces seem to dissolve away, or at the very least have the same texture of the pear, so you get the fresh ginger taste without having to pick out strands of ginger.

Ginger Matcha Pear Crisp

Time: 1 hour 10 minutes, 20 minutes active
Serves: 6


5 firm d'anjou or other green pears, peeled and diced
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons Matcha green tea powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup almond meal
2/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick vegan margarine, melted

Vanilla-flavored coconut ice cream (such as Coconut Bliss), to serve


Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a bowl combine the pears, sugar, ginger, green tea, and salt.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, almond meal, almonds, brown sugar, and salt. Drizzle in the melted margarine a few tablespoons at a time, tossing until crumbs form. Do not over mix as it will make the crisp tough.

Pour pears into a 7x11 baking dish and cover with crumbs.

Bake for 50 minutes or until crust is golden and the pear mixture has thickened. Serve with vanilla coconut ice cream.


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