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the art of substitution

I’m so thankful I learned this invaluable lesson from my mom as I was growing up.  There’s something….. satisfying…. about knowing how to make do.  I think I would’ve given up a long time ago if I’d never learned how to effectively substitute.  It’s useful in so many areas of homemaking!

We have 3 pear trees.  This is the first time I’ve had a chance to harvest them and I was really excited at all the possibilities!  The prime time for picking came at a very inopportune moment though (read my previous post), and I haven’t had the energy or ability to pick and/or cook them much.  The trees aren’t huge, and I only picked what I could reach from the ground, but I still have more pears than I know what to do with!  They’re ripening faster than I can use them up.  I have enjoyed trying new recipes though.  With the first ones I picked 3 weeks ago, I made William Tell’s Never-Miss Apple Cake.  It was delicious!

I determined to do something with some of them before they all go to waste.  Today, I decided to make a pear crisp because it’s simple and I had everything on hand…. I thought.  I had bookmarked Paula Dean’s Pear Crisp on Pinterest, but after reviewing the ingredients, I realized I didn’t have enough butter.  I remembered a rhubarb crisp recipe I had in a cookbook so I decided to combine the two.  I used Paula Dean’s recipe for preparing the pear filling, and the other recipe for the crumb topping.  As I mixed ingredients for the topping, I realized I didn’t have nutmeg (I could’ve sworn I had nutmeg!) so I used my Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus in place of the cinnamon and nutmeg.  So the recipe ended up going something like this:

  • 12 large pears
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • Core, peel, and slice pears.  Combine with water and lemon juice in a 9×13 pan.
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 rounded tsp Cinnamon Plus
  • 1 stick butter, cold
  • Combine dry ingredients.  Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or 2 knives until the butter looks like little pearls covered with flour.  Sprinkle evenly over fruit, do not press.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

It turned out pretty good!  I think the pears need to be seasoned a bit as well as the topping though.  I’ll try that next time. 🙂

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