I'm different, I guess. I bet I am the only person around that would seek out a restaurant because I have read the cookbook of said restaurant. Next time I am in Chicago, I plan on visiting one of Paul Virant's restaurants, Perennial Virant, which features his canned goods, or Vie, which is out in the suburbs. It was this cookbook that caught my eye:
I'm interested in trying his recipes for aigre-doux, which is French for "sweet and sour" - canned sauces for savory dishes, but I haven't gotten a chance to do it. Instead, I found a wonderful recipe for a cranberry-pear crisp that he suggests for the Thanksgiving table. I didn't have any pears, so I made it with apple instead. What makes it unique is the crumbly topping - instead of oats and brown sugar, this one is a sweeter crumble. The texture is more like sand than chunks.
3 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small chunks
5 c fresh cranberries
2 c sugar
2 c flour
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 t salt
1 c cold butter, cubed
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread apples and cranberries in a 13X9 pan, sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the remaining 1 1/2 cup sugar, flours and salt on low speed. With the mixer still running, add the butter and continue to mix until a coarse crumble forms. Spread the crumble evenly over the fruit,, pressing it into the fruit. Bake until the cranberry juices are bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 50 minutes.