A Tropical Chocolate Crisp to Rival Apple
Apple crisp is a fall classic. I have always loved the crunchy brown sugar and oat topping and wondered how it would work with tropical fruit. And being a fan of chocolate- dipped bananas, I figured why not add cocoa to the topping? It works. This is delicious and unexpected. But, I have to tell you it is not much to look at. The cocoa-enhanced crisp is dark and plain looking. However, when I made seventeen desserts for a massive party, this was the only dessert that was finished, the baking dish scraped clean. Score one for the plain Jane’s of the food world. Expect an unassuming look but with a huge payoff in flavor and texture.
- ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ⅔ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick or instant oats)
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sifted natural cocoa
- Generous ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Scant ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons ([3/4] stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3 large, ripe bananas
- 3 cups mango chunks (1/2-inch pieces, from about 4 to 6 mangoes)
- 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (1/2inch pieces, from about half a fresh pineapple)
- ¼ cup gold rum
- ¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose four
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- For the Topping: Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat a 9½-inch x 1½-inch deep-dish pie plate, or decorative ovenproof dish, with nonstick spray. Place the dish on top of a parchment- lined rimmed baking pan (to catch drips).
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, stir together the brown sugar, oats, flour, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. Sprinkle the butter pieces over the top of the dry ingredients. Cut in using a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers until the crisp topping resembles a chunky granola. You do want it to be in clumps, not loose. Squeeze the clumps together with your fingers, if necessary. The topping may be frozen in a zipper- top bag for up to 1 month ahead; just defrost as the oven pre-heats.
- For the Filling: Toss all of the filling ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Scrape into the prepared baking dish. Scatter the topping evenly over the fruit.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the topping is crisp and the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. It may be served warm or at room temperature but is best eaten the day it is made.
Image: Peter Muka