Download PDFCLEAN FOOD, revised edition | Fall | Page 225

CRISPS ARE SO EASY TO MAKE, and in my family they’re served not only for dessert but for breakfast or a midday snack, too. This one tastes great with a scoop of vanilla bean ice (or rice) cream. As with my Apple Crisp recipe (page 224), this is easily made gluten-free by substituting brown rice flour for wheat and using chopped nuts in place of oats for the topping.


8 large pears (Bosc or D’Anjou work well)
1⁄4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
1⁄2 cup apple juice or cider
1 tablespoon arrowroot


2 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown rice flour or almond meal
1 cup toasted sliced almonds
Pinch of sea salt
1⁄2 cup maple syrup
1⁄3 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon almond extract


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Peel, core and slice pears and place in large casserole.

In medium bowl, combine syrup, almond extract, ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest and apple juice. Whisk in arrowroot until dissolved, pour mixture evenly over pears and set aside.

Prepare topping in separate bowl by combining oats, flour, almonds and sea salt. In separate bowl, whisk together syrup, oil and almond extract. Add wet ingredients to dry, fold to combine, then sprinkle over pears. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until crumb topping is crisp and lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve warm.


© 2012 Terry Walters



  1. Posted November 7, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I may be really stupid for this, but should the pears be ripe, or almost ripe for this recipe? Another pear recipe in Clean Food calls for ripe pears, while this one did not, and I so wanted to make this crisp that I acted too hastily. I had 8 beautiful but hard pears that I tried for this recipe, as I thought they would soften up in the oven. I even thought maybe ripe pears would bake into liquid mush. Well I thought wrong. To be sure, the crisp was eaten in 2 days, but the fruit never got nice and soft. I’m feeling kind of dumb, but I suppose the lesson is now learned. Only ripe pears next time. My family loved the apple crisp in Clean Food, but there it was harder for me to go wrong. However, this is the only recipe I’ve tried from Clean Food where I did not succeed spectacularly, but next time when I use ripe pears, I’m sure all will be well.

  2. Posted November 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    When the recipe calls for ripe pears, they really do need to be – both for the cooking method and the sweetness factor. For the crisp, you can use either ripe or firm pears, you simply have to adjust your baking time accordingly. The recipe for the crisp assumes that your pears are ripe, but if you cover with foil and bake unripe pears just a bit longer, they should soften as well. Depending on how firm they are, you may need to add a little more liquid so that they steam while they bake instead of drying out even more. Either a bit more maple syrup, a bit of lemon juice or both should do the trick!

  3. Posted November 10, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    This is really what i was looking for. many thanks for the informative post and keep up the excellent work!

  4. Posted January 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I made this WONDERFUL crisp for company and served it with some coconut milk ice cream. Everyone loved it, licked their bowls if I’m being honest. I did have to adjust the covered cooking time to match the firmness of my pears in order for them to break down nicely. It took almost an hour, and this recipe was able to handle that without drying at all. Thank you so much for such an awesome clean dessert option. I look froward to trying more of your recipes, especially for muffins and cookies as I am a baked goods junkie.

  5. Posted October 14, 2011 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    I noticed you have canola oil listed in this recipe. I never use canola oil which is an industrial-grade machinery oil and often genetically modified. Am surprised that such a conscious foodie such as yourself would have this inferior oil in a recipe.

    I teach gluten-free cooking classes and have been an instructor for many years and use coconut oil and/or butter in place of canola, sunflower, corn, safflower, soy, or other oils which are high in Omega 6, which we have too much of in our diets.

  6. Posted October 14, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    MaryClare, I couldn’t agree with you more! CLEAN FOOD (which is where this recipe is from) was published originally in 2007 and while coconut oil had long been around at that point, I admit I was slow to embrace it as healthy. In the 80’s we were all brainwashed that tropical oils were bad, and as my father had had a heart attack, I was particularly skeptical. That said, with time comes knowledge, research and wisdom. CLEAN START, my second book which came out in 2010 uses only extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil and coconut oil. As part of the process of “cleaning up” my recipes, I also took out all of the agave nectar (another ingredient we’re learning may not be what we once thought it was), made the book gluten-free, and even have many baked goods that don’t use oil at all. Here’s the best part (and proof that we’re totally on the same page)… It’s looking like there will be a revised edition of CLEAN FOOD in the near future that will allow me to update the recipes to reflect new understanding of our food system, including but not limited to taking about all canola (rapeseed) oil and agave nectar. I also plan to give advice on how to make the gluten-full recipes gluten-free. Of course, as soon as you put something in print, you risk that it will be outdated the next day! So, I’m grateful for a forum such as this and especially appreciate your taking the time to weigh in on this subject and share the passion to eat clean and live well!

  7. Posted November 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    To Tiffani the baked goods junkie (as am I)-DO TRY the peanut butter teff cookies in the anytime section, I am seriously addicted to these. I make a batch & eat from the freezer.

  8. Posted November 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your kind words, Shirleen. We’re still out of power here in CT. Maybe you could send some of your peanut butter teff stash this way!!! : )

  9. Posted December 10, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for all of your gluten free and vegan baked goods. I have been trying various recipes for over three years and your are by far the most mouth watering and amazing. I take them to all our functions and everyone wants my healthy baked goods rather than the crazy processed stuff. I tell everyone about your book. Thank you!

    Anyways, is there a way to exchange pastry flour to make recipes like these gluten free?

    Also, have you been able to make a gluten free tortilla that you actually love?

    I prepare a lot of raw food too and use tons of dates to bind things and make them hold. i notice that so many of your bakes goods use dates. Besides sweetening the delightful treat is it also binding or providing some other purpose? I guess I’m just trying to understand when and where I can substitute with dates when baking more often? You are my hero. My kids don’t hate me when I bring our own gluten-free vegan cupcakes to birthday parties anymore.

  10. Posted December 15, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Hi Janeen,

    I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes and thank you so much for your kind words! While I’ve not found one flour combination that works as a substitute for pastry flour in every recipe, in this recipe you could easily substitute brown rice flour or almond meal/flour (which I think would be my preference).

    I’m afraid I can’t help you with the gluten free tortillas. I purchase prepared brown rice tortillas by Food For Life, but they can be quite firm (perfect for using as a pizza crust)!

    I use dates for exactly the reasons you mentioned. They add sweetness without refined sweetener, and they definitely help bind in the absence of gluten, eggs…

    Eat clean live well!

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