Pear, Apple and Butternut Squash Crisp

In case you haven't noticed, I am on a serious butternut squash kick. I always knew I loved the vegetable, but I didn't know quite how much until I realized how well it goes with just about everything.

When I stumbled across this recipe for a pear and apple crisp with butternut squash, I nearly leapt from my chair to start baking.  I mean a crisp with, WITH! butternut squash?  It had to be amazing.  

While I didn't make the crisp immediately, it did become top priority.  Recipe plans were rearranged and a playdate moved to the afternoon, opened up the following gloomy morning for baking with my very enthusiastic toddler who was happy to help by eating all the apples.

It was the perfect treat for a cold day.

And the result was better than I expected.  I had no doubt, but one never really knows when they willingly throw vegetables into their dessert. But I guess it's a lot like baking with zucchini or pureed butternut squash.

I tried not to overwhelm this dessert with too much sugar.  I wanted to taste the nuts and oats and different fruit (and yes! even the butternut squash).  The mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and fresh ginger will leave you feeling warm and toasty and really wishing you had gotten a bigger piece. Or is that just me? (every single time)

This is a great dessert to prepare for a holiday party or special weekday night dessert.  Added bonus, you'll be sneaking in a couple extra bites of vegetables into your kids.

Pear, Apple and Butternut Squash Crisp

Prep Time:  20 min  /  Cook Time: 1 hour (approx.)  /  Total Time:  1 hour 20 min
Servings:  6-8


Ingredients

Topping:

1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. cold butter, cubed

Filling:

3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
4 small apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into thin slices (so they are approximately the same size as the pear or apple, but thinner)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a large pie dish or baking dish with butter or cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. First prepare your topping.  In a large bowl combine the oats, flour, pecans, walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix together and add the cubed butter to the bowl.  Using your fingertips, blend the butter into the oatmeal and nut mixture until tiny clumps form and the butter is well incorporated (this may take 2-3 minutes).  If your mixture seems a bit dry, you can add a little more butter, 1 tsp. at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Set aside.
  3. Start preparing your filling.  In a separate large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, lemon juice, ginger, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Pour in your sliced apples, pears and butternut squash and toss well.
  4. Transfer your filling mixture to your prepared baking pan and spread evenly over entire surface.  Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the top of your filling and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until squash is soft and tender.
  5. Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

note:  The thicker your butternut squash slices, the longer it will take to cook and soften.  

Enjoy!

 

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