Hello, Amy here, preparing a dessert for some new friends completely new to the desert, passing through on their way to Costa Rica. A few pears that had seen some travel were sitting on the kitchen counter…
So I pared, sliced and put them in the oven with a few cubes of frozen prickly pear juice.
After baking and stirring, they looked like this!
Then I made a crumble topping, staring with plenty of desert seeds, from left to right: saguaro, amaranth, chia, barrel cactus.
The bulk of the mixture was mesquite meal, rolled oats, pecan meal, butter, sugar (evaporated cane juice). For seasoning, I used cinnamon, cardamon, dried rose petals and dried ocotillo flowers.
Once mixed, I crumbled the mixture over the pears and put back into the 350 degree F oven to bake until browned and crunchy.
It is best served warm, here with a little homemade goat yogurt, but cream or ice cream works, too!
The recipe can be found in the Desert Harvesters’ Cookbook:
This recipe is so forgiving. I was short on oats so increased the pecans. I doubled the cardamom, traded evaporated cane juice for the brown sugar, substituted water for milk, changed the orange/apple juice to prickly pear, and doubled the seeds. Coconut oil works fine instead of butter for this, too.
Amy’s Apple Crisp
2 pounds apples, local organic heirlooms if possible (Or pears. No need to weigh!)
2 tablespoons orange, apple or prickly pear juice (or more)
1 cup mesquite meal
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup seeds, like amaranth, chia, barrel cactus, saguaro
1/3 cup evaporated cane juice or brown sugar (0r less)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
2 tablespoons milk or water
Slice the fruit into a baking dish, add juice, and bake at 350 degrees while preparing the topping. Mix all the topping ingredients in the food processor, distribute over sliced fruit, and bake at 350-375 degrees F until browned. Enjoy!