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Cold Weather, Hot Dessert

When plunging temperatures herald winter’s icy grip, our food cravings turn to hot, comfort food.

When we’re cold, we hunger for stews filled with tender vegetables and succulent meats, savory braises and thick soups are perfect to raise one’s internal temperature and satisfy a deeply felt hunger.

Chef Mark Shoup knows about such things. The executive chef at Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort in Utah serves up a lot of hot comfort food when hungry skiers sit down in the main dining room, the Foundry Grill.

His winter menu features savory dishes, with an emphasis on familiar comfort foods. In addition to soups, stews and braises, Chef Shoup helps beat back cold with desserts.

High on his list of favorites is hot pear crisp topped with ice cream. If you’re counting calories, use whipped cream or yogurt instead.

Perfect by itself for a cold-weather afternoon snack or to end a meal, the crisp can be prepared a day ahead, kept in the refrigerator, and popped in the oven just 30 minutes before serving.

Pear Crisp Topped With Almond Crumble

Serves 4

IngredientsSundance Resort

4 ounces almond paste
2 tablespoons (unsalted) butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon salt
2½ cups flour
1⅓ cups oats
1⅓ cups raw almonds, sliced
4 cups Bartlett pears, washed, cored, peeled, cut into cubes
¼ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch


  1. Use a mixer to beat the almond paste until smooth.
  2. To the mixer, add the butter and brown sugar and cream until well blended.
  3. Stir in by hand the lemon zest, salt, oats and almonds. When mixed well, add in the flour. Avoid over-working the flour. You want crumble not dough.
  4. Heat oven to 375 F.
  5. Toss the cut-up pears with the white sugar and cornstarch.
  6. Portion the pears into 4 ovenproof bowls.
  7. Top with the crumble and seal with aluminum foil.
  8. Bake, covered with foil, 12 to 14 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and bake an additional 12 to 14 minutes until the crumble is lightly browned.
  10. Serve warm with toppings of your choice.

Zester Daily contributor David Latt is a television writer/producer with a passion for food. His new book, “10 Delicious Holiday Recipes” is available from Amazon. In addition to writing about food for his own site, Men Who Like to Cook, he has contributed to Mark Bittman’s New York Times food blogBittenOne for the Table and Traveling Mom. He continues to develop for television but recently has taken his passion for food on the road and is now a contributor to Peter Greenberg’s travel site and the New York Daily News online.

Photos, from top:
Sundance Resort pear crisp.
Sundance Resort cabin in the snow.
Credits: David Latt.
Editor’s note: The pear crisp recipe originally posted called for two sticks of butter. It’s been edited to reflect the correct amount, which is 2 tablespoons.

Zester Daily contributor David Latt is a television writer/producer with a passion for food. Putting his television experience to good use, he created Secrets of Restaurant Chefs, a YouTube Channel, with lively videos by well-known chefs sharing their favorite recipes. In addition to writing about food for Zester Daily and his own sites, Men Who Like to Cook and Men Who Like to Travelhe has contributed to Mark Bittman's New York Times food blog, BittenOne for the Table and Traveling Mom.  His helpful guide to holiday entertaining, "10 Delicious Holiday Recipes,"  is available on Amazon eCookbooks. He still develops for television but finds time to take his passion for food on the road as a contributor to Peter Greenberg's travel siteNew York Daily NewsHuffington Post/Travel and Luxury Travel Magazine.


  • Betty 11·15·12

    The recipe directions item #2 say to add cream, but no cream is listed in the ingredients. How much cream should be added?