Revision of a revision of a revision (plus Plan B)

Can any of us help ourselves?   Can any true foodie not tweak a recipe just a bit?   I challenge you to answer me honestly.

Another true confession, I can never make anything twice.

It drives my hubby nuts:  “Wow, that was really delicious.   What are the odds of you ever making that again?”

I had pears and apples that I desperately needed to use up this week.  (Again, see True Confessions.As I was trolling through my Google Reader this week, I saw that Kath at In The Kitchen with Kath had posted Cardamom-Scented Pear Crisp.  Hers looked delicious and the gears started turning.

I decided to adapt her recipe (which in itself was an adaptation of a Mark Bittman recipe) by using apples and honey.

I dove into my experiment.

OK–need three pounds of apples.  After weighing my apples, I only had two pounds.

Orchard fresh Jonathan apples and local pears.

No problem—I would throw in a few pears.   That should work fine.

After peeling the apples and tossing them in lemon juice, I started on the topping.

For the life of me,  I could not find my ground cardamom.  I know I had some when I whipped up some pumpkin pie spice last month.   So, I had either used it all and forgot to get more (possible) or I had not put it back in the spice cabinet (highly probable).   As the butter was softening, I remembered that I had whole cardamom pods.   Off the the internet I went.   According the Cook’s Thesaurus, six cardamom pods equal one teaspoon.

Cracking pods and grinding cardamom.

I went to cracking and grinding.

Hence Plan B.   Can I segue a moment?

One of our favorite family stories is from my brother-in-law’s youth.   A super smart kid (and a perfectionist), he was working on the obligatory diorama of the solar system  when he was in the 2nd grade.  After completing his masterpiece, he went running and jumping through the house on a celebratory romp.   As his perfect solar system sat on the ottoman, he came to his final jump of success.   His jump, however, landed him smack dab on top of the open tube of glue that was still on the floor.   The glue catapulted right into the diorama, leaving Mars and Jupiter dripping with glue.  It was ruined and he was hysterical.  His mother calmly told him that they would just go to Plan B.

He wailed, “THERE IS NO PLAN B!”

Well, I am not near the perfectionist he was and is so I can always adapt to a Plan B or C in cooking (albeit sometimes with disastrous results.)

So, my Plan B this trip to the kitchen was to add the pears.   Plan C was to use fresh ground cardamom.

This is baking as I am writing at it smells delicious.

Apple Cardamom Honey Crisp

4 T.  butter, cold and cut up
1/4 c.  brown sugar
1/2 c. whole pecans
1 c. old fashioned oats
½ c. whole wheat flour
1 t.  cardamom (or 6 cardamom pods, cracked and ground)
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 t. vanilla
3 lbs. apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I used Jonathan apples from the farmers market.) 
Plan C:  Add some pears.

juice of one lemon
1/4 c. honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a 9 x 9 inch baking pan (either spray with cooking spray, coat with canola oil, or smear with softened butter).

Place butter, brown sugar, and pecans in a food processor.  Pulse until pecans are chopped and butter and sugar are combined.  Add oats, flour, cardamom, sea salt and vanilla.  Pulse to combine.


Toss apples with lemon juice and layer in prepared baking pan.

Crumble the topping over the apples and press topping into the apples.

Press the topping down over the apples and pears. It will all fit.

Heat honey in microwave until it is runny.   Drizzle honey over topping.

Honey drizzle.

Bake for about 30 minutes, bubbly and the topping is just starting to brown.

Fresh from the oven.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Hope you are still reading through this rambling post.

Thanks to Mark Bittman, Kath, and Bryan (my brother-in-law) for the inspiration for this post.

NOTE:  Because of the decrease of sugar in this recipe, it is a really fresh dessert.   We even ate some of it for breakfast.  I think it would be great on a brunch table.


13 comments to Revision of a revision of a revision (plus Plan B)

  • Liz

    Your plan B looks amazing!! The cardamom sounds like a great addition and I’m certain the apple and pear combo tasted divine! Have a great weekend!

  • I found you by looking at your title above my comment at Big Bear’s Wife….couldn’t resist coming and seeing what the revision of a revision of a revision ended up being. Pretty darn perfect if you ask me. I adore cardamom. Definitely going to give this a try (with a revision, of course). Thanks for the great read and recipe!

    • Eliot

      Glad everyone stopped by. I am really tempted to try this again with “Plan D” and add a bit more spice. However, this had such a clean and fresh taste, I should leave well enough alone.

  • It’s so true, as a foodie it’s virtually impossible to not tweak a recipe. This looks fabulous! I love what you did with Apple Crisp! Yum!

  • Ann

    It does look delicious! Since I post 5 days a week, on days six and seven Honey Bunny requests repeats…it works! I can do plan b, but I think plan c would break me! :o)

  • Plan B: “20 more minutes chef”? Looks like you found an even a better way to scent your kitchen, mmmm, inhale deeply cooking apples, pears and cardamon, heavenly!

  • Isn’t it fun to tweak a recipe until you get to the taste you are looking for? I am surprised that you are now talking plan D, the plan b sounds delicious enough! Great list of ingredients-no doubt was a great tasting dessert. Well done!

  • Thanks for the shout-out! I love the looks of your adaptation, and your Plans B and C are great ideas. 😉 I bet it was fantastic with fresh cardamom pods! I like the idea of adding the honey. This would definitely be a great brunch dish!

  • What I love about this recipe is that it’s light on sugar, butter, it uses whole wheat flour, and it’s cardamom flavor!

  • Ha-ha! I can completely relate to the idea of tweaking but also not being able to duplicate. In fact, I find it very hard to provide recipes for the things I make on my blog because I rarely measure and can’t quite remember all the things I may, or may not, have done. This apple crisp does look mighty wonderful so, for your husband’s sake, I hope you manage to mimic it! 🙂

  • Yum-town Eliot. I have cardamom boring away in my cabinet, that was just waiting for this recipe. Smooches!