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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Girls Go Green

Woke up on a Friday morning, feeling really hungree. What else is NEW? My girl Danielle (aka D, aka Dg, aka Dgross) and Ripka and I had plans to brunch, and when I say we were hungree, we were really really hungree. After much deliberation on where to go, we walked about 9 blocks to head to RX. Unfortunately for us, or fortunately as it turns out in the end, RX was closed due to technical difficulties. Really? Making 3 hungree girls walk all the while dreaming of what to get and then ripping it away? Harsh. In a not-so-snap decision, we decided to venture downtown to a spot I went to earlier this year, Green Eggs Cafe. As soon as we sat down in the quaint yet comfy restaurant and received menus, we knew that RX being closed was a sign from God and that brunch at Green Eggs was our fate. Picking what to order here is literally torture. How does a dessert fiend like myself choose among red velvet pancakes, stuffed peanut butter french toast, creme brûlée french toast, and so much more? It's a tough life, let me tell you. As per my recommendation, DGross went with the breakfast burrito, the dish I ordered the last time I was here. It is literally massive, it should be called the red wood tree of burritos because this thing is HUGE. Stuffed with scrambled eggs, provolone cheese, crispy potatoes, onions, peppers, sausage, and then a side of black bean, fresh avocado, and sour cream, you really just cannot go wrong. Apparently, D agreed with me because she did some serious damage.
D really excited about her burrito 

 I was feeling lunch-y so I decided to tackle the veggie burger. Made up beets, french lentils, yellow onion, quinoa, jalapeños, herbs and spices and topped with lettuce, tomato and chipotle mayo on a brioche bun, it was KILLER. It had a great texture and you could really taste each component that made it up. The bun was fluffy and buttery and made each bite even better.

We ordered a side of french fries for the table and they were salty and perfect and crispy and amazing. They were small and crunchy and all the best bits of fries that you'd want. YUM.

 Ripka went with the eggs benedict, and in classic Rip fashion subtracted the Canadian bacon, can you say #crimeagainsthumanity? It was a perfect portion and really beautiful and was the perfect sized breakfast for a normal person, which none of us are.

 And for this reason, we not only felt the need, but felt an obligation and a duty to order the creme brûlée french toast. I'd like to say it was the best decision I ever made, but it wasn't a decision, it was fate. Massive pieces of brioche french toast were covered in a vanilla bean custard, fresh berry compote, and drizzled with vanilla anglaise and warm pure maple syrup and THEN topped with chantilly cream and fresh berries. I'm having a heart attack typing it because I want an order of it so baldy right now. We all agreed that it was one of the best things we've ever eaten. Imagine eating the perfect creme brûlée, and then taking amazing french toast and sandwiching them together. It was pure heaven. While Ripka and I were big contributors to to french toast, I have to say that Dgross took the cake, or in this case, the toast. But seriously, this girl is impressive and I think I found a new hungree girl.
ya she reps the clean plate club!

It took us 20 minutes to get up after eating. Like D said, "If I'm going to go downtown to eat, I'm going big or going home." Well D, I think we all can agree with you on this idea, and we certainly didn't disappoint.

get hungree or get out

All about the Alma

Alma de Cuba
forks: 8.3
price: $$$

1623 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA

Last night I had the pleasure of dining at Alma de Cuba, one of famed restauranteur Stephen Starr's trendy spots. Like the name suggests, it serves Cuban food, but this is upscale refined Cuban food at it's best. I made the journey downtown with my cousin Whitney, who's mentioned here frequently, her boyfriend Alex, and my friend Stephanie. Now, a little note about my accompanying diners. If you remember a post way back I went to brunch with Whitney and Alex (Green Eggs Cafe) and I complained that Alex and I weren't yet on the level where I could taste his food. Well, as of last night, we officially are on that level, so just thought I should share. Getting out of the cab we pulled up to a white building that looked like it could be an apartment or a small victorian inn. A fluorescent red sign stating the name let us know we were in the right place. The atmosphere inside felt like a chic and modern lounge; dim lighting, a white contemporary theme, and splashes of bright lights gave the restaurant a trendy feel, I felt cool just being in the room.

We were led to our table on the second floor. Within moments a server came round and placed two miniature doughnut looking pieces of bread on our plates. Upon tearing one in half, that fresh bread steam was released. UGH, seriously, I want to make that smell a candle and keep it burning in my room at all times. They were amazing, literally doughy magic, with a melted manchego cheese inside the bread and a coconutty sweetness. A garlicky herb aioli served alongside cut the sweetness of the bread for a nice contrast, but I preferred it plain. These fluffy bread snowballs were ridiculous.

To start, we ordered a trio of ceviche, tuna tacos, and dates wrapped in bacon. The first in our trio was a Yellowtail Kingfish, served with a Peruvian corn and potato salad, lime juice and aji panca glaze. This was my personal favorite, the tuna was beautifully cut and the accompanying salad was clean and added to the fresh flavor of the fish. Next was the Japanese Red Snapper, with key lime, red onion, chili limo and sweet potato. The flavors were crisp and light and you could really taste the high quality of the fish. The final in the trio was the Thai mixto, a mix of crab, shrimp, octopus and fluke with coconut-leche de tigre, mango and tomatillo. This was my least favorite of the three but it was still really good. The coconut in the sauce had a little bit of heat that brought an intense yet clean flavor.

The Royal Palm Dates were almond-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon with cabrales blue cheese atop an endive leaf. It was honestly the perfect bite, savoriness from the bacon, tanginess from the cheese, and a fruity nutty taste from the date, all came together for an awesome combination. But seriously, there was bacon in it, so how could it not be good?

The tuna tartare tacos were served with candied lemon and pickled onion. While I can see that the chef was going for a clean look to showcase the fish, Alex and I both agreed that the tacos could have used a little sauce of some sort. Perhaps a lime cilantro mayonnaise or something to put the dish over the edge.

For dinner I went with the Chicken Combo, marinated grilled chicken breast over "Arroz Imperial" with shredded chicken, manchego cheese, peas and olives. My dish was awesome. The chicken was tender and moist and had complex rub that had a great depth in flavor. The rice was fluffy, colorful, and was a great accompaniment for the main plate.

Stephanie decided to be healthy and had the Sugarcane Tuna, seared tuna served atop creamy hearts of palm rice, pickled chayote, and topped with a sugarcane-sesame vinaigrette. The tuna was beautiful and once again the dish really showcased the quality and freshness of the fish.

Alex and Whitney shared the Vaca Frita, a twice cooked crispy skirt steak with onions and Cuban oregano with black beans, white rice and tomato escabeche. As I mentioned before, Alex and I now hit this level so I was SO ready to try when offered. It was amazing. The steak was braised and in the process absorbed a rich and intense flavor. It shredded easily, not like a tough skirt steak, and with a bite of the fresh avocado and a scoop of black beans, was a divine bite.

As a side we got a creamy coconut quinoa. The texture was rich and creamy and the addition of bits of asparagus made the dish a great accompaniment. A Cuban meal isn't complete without plantains. Our side of plantains were caramelized, tender, so naturally sweet, and insanely delicious.

If you couldn't guess, that was A LOT of food, and surprisingly I was REALLY full. Like considering passing on dessert full. Luckily, I pulled through in the end and rallied enough to order a trio of ice cream. We went with a coconut milk sorbet, a white chocolate lime ice cream, and a popcorn ice cream. When popcorn ice cream is on the menu, you order it. It tasted like polenta in ice cream form. It was perfectly smooth and creamy and had a great rich corn taste, but more evoked corn then the popcorn flavor. Either way it was sooo tasty and wasn't an issue. The coconut sorbet was delicate yet packed a powerful coconut flavor and was probably my favorite of the bunch. The white chocolate lime, an interesting combination, was velvety smooth and melted in your mouth. The combination of lime and chocolate, something I never would have guessed, was a fantastic pair.

So, Alma de Cuba. It was a great meal and an even greater time. When you come here you know what you're going to get, consistently great upscale Cuban food which showcases really fresh and high quality ingredients.

hope your hungree

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Restaurant: Sampan
Rating: 8.6 forks
Best dish: edamame dumplings
Price: $$
124 S. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA

So as I stated in my previous post, tonight was my first adventure with restaurant week and big bro Jake and I decided to kick it off at Sampan. Why Sampan? Well, I looked at every menu of the participating restaurants for the week, and it just spoke to me. I know I really want to go somewhere when I start hyperventilating reading the menu, so the decision was easy. When we arrived, the place was packed. The hostess informed us that our wait would be about 15 minutes, my stomach growled. "Or you could sit at the bar over looking the kitchen?" When the suggestion left her lips I was stunned. WHY WOULD I WANT TO SIT ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?!?! Literally, my smile lit up the trendy dim room. As we headed back to the kitchen bar I surveyed the space; chic and trendy with splashes of color, the restaurant had an upbeat and hip vibe. We were seated at the side of the bar, with a full view into the kitchen and an upclose and personal view of one of the prep stations. Needless to say, I was in heaven before I even tasted anything.
 For restaurant week Sampan was offering their special 7 course tasting menu plus dessert, which will usually cost one $45, for $35. There were seven courses, small plates, satay, cold and hot, meat, fish sides, and the daily soft serve for dessert. Jake and I jumped on that and as soon as we ordered, food started arriving. First came out the edamame dumplings. Served in a a golden colored sake broth, four edamame dumplings nestled around fresh pea shoots. They were divine. The perfect bite, literally eating a fluffy edamame pillow. The texture of the edamame inside was like velvet and the skin of the dumpling was perfectly cooked and still had that chewy texture. I secretly wanted to steal Jake's second dumpling and really had to restrain myself.

Next came the Korean BBQ Beef Satay. It was a thin rolled up piece of beef topped with a spicy kim chee and ginger slaw and it was UNREAL. The beef was sweet and savory, and yet the little cold kim chee and ginger on top gave it a spicy after taste. The richness of the meat really carried through and was so tender and delicate yet still maintained its hearty flavor. This was Jake's personal fave.

Then we were served the Rock Shrimp; crispy rock shrimp with pickled radish, yuzu, and a chili aioli. First of all, it was beautiful, but I set aside the beauty and dove in anyways. A good rock shrimp requires a few things: a crispy coating, a delicate yet flavorful sauce, and some other texture besides the shrimp itself. Sampan's rock shrimp boasted all of the above. It was light, airy, and the chili aoili was tangy and spicy yet didn't hide the natural flavors of the shrimp. The radish offered a great textural component and the pickled-ness contrasted nicely to the savory notes in the sauce.

After the shrimp came the much anticipated "Philly Cheese Steak," Schulson's modern Asian take on the Philadelphia classic. Served on a bao bun with sirracha, and shallots, braised shredded steak was topped with freshly grated cheese, (I believe parmesan?) It was a two biter, and was able to pack a powerful punch. The beef was tender and well seasoned and tasted like it had been marinated and slow cooked for hours. The cheese added a nutty bite that played off the richness of the beef. It was definitely a great interpretation of the traditional sandwich we all know and love, in a much lighter and refined form.

Then came the tuna. Seared pieces of tuna lay gracefully over chilled soba noodles with avocado and tomatoes. To be honest, this was both Jake and my least favorite dish of the night. The noodles were good and had a tasty flavor base, but the tuna was lacking and bland. I also felt that the tuna was cut too thin and that the textures of the noodles and tuna were too similar, as they both had soft chewy consistencies and it was sometimes hard to distinguish one from the other. Perhaps a thicker cut tuna with a crust of wasabi or sesame seeds could have added a little distinction.

Brussel sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables, so when I saw it on the menu as a side I picked it without a second of hesitation. Lucky for me, I was sitting in front of the prep station for the brussel sprouts and witnessed as the dish came together, from when they started as fresh sprouts to when they came steaming out of the wok, were tossed in a sauce, and then delivered to my table. The crispy brussel sprouts were coated in a light fish sauce, puffed rice, and chill. They had a great crunch and texture and really solid flavor but they were a little bit on the oily side. Regardless, that didn't stop me from licking the bowl clean.

Our last savory course was the Crispy Szechuan Chicken. Chicken tossed with chinese greens, garlic, and sesame heaped high on a plate came to our counter top steaming. The chicken was tasty and delicious, not too heavy or over sauced like many Asian chicken dishes can be, and truly captured that feeling of "light" modern Asian cuisine.

AND FINALLY...DUN DUNNA DUN...dessert. The chef's daily soft serve. When the miniature ice cream cones came out, I found myself getting short of breath. They were utterly delightful and simply lovely. I didn't want to eat them, I wanted to carry them around as acessories. But alas, I did eat them. And the flavors? Vanilla skittles and chocolate apple jack. Like, WHAT? I know! As a candy addict, this was music to my ears as well as to my taste buds. The vanilla skittles literally tasted like skittles, fruity and sweet, but not too sweet. And then the chocolate apple jack. UGH, this will be the subject of my dream for the night. It tasted warm. It tasted like warm cocoa apple cider. My tastebuds felt fooled when they were told they were eating ice cream because I experienced a warming sensation as if I were sipping a wintery hot drink. Kind of hard to describe unless you try, so try. TRY.

Basically, Sampan was delicious. And while I got a great deal of 7 courses plus dessert for $35, the regular $45 is definitely still worth it. I'm not just saying that to justify my future payments there either...Also, another thing I did learn: Sampan has a "happy hour" EVERY day of the week from 4-7 where favorites like the edamame dumplings ***THE FAVORITE****,  the korean beef BBQ satay (second fave) and many other small plates are offered for $2, $3, or $4. Plus, drink prices are also reduced. PERF for us college kids looking for a good time. So, if you're reading this and it's between the hours of 4 and 7, get your booty off wherever your sitting and go on downtown to Sampan, NOW.

holla for restaurant week!

Restaurant WEEEEEEEK!

YES. Its finally here, the week I've been waiting for. The week where I can dine at some of the nicest restaurants in Philly and eat for a reasonable price. So what if the menus are set? I feel that the chefs must be showcasing dishes that they have to be proud of if they are incorporating them on this special menu. So, yay restaurant week! One qualm, why did restaurant week have to fall on one of the busiest weeks of my life? So inconvenient. Of course I made over 8 reservations, one for every night and a few for lunch, but sadly I'm not going to be able to make them all. Seriously, I'm distraught. I was honestly considering dropping out of school for the week simply so I could spend the time visiting restaurants, but I figured I'd be doing that one day soon enough so I should stay in school for now so I can get there. Anyways, for me, restaurant week begins tonight with a visit to Michael Schulson's modern asian restaurant, Sampan. I'm majorly pumped and have been staring at the menu for a week and am already having anxiety about what to order. How is a very hungree girl supposed to choose between edamame dumplings and a "Philly Cheese Steak" boa bun?  #HUNGREEGIRLPROBZ Check for updates and share your own restaurant week adventures!

hungreee for 2night

Saturday, January 21, 2012

City Tap House

I am very lucky to go to school with my brother. First semester he was abroad, living it up in Australia, but now he's back and I'm VERY excited. I'm excited for a few reasons: 1, he's fun and likes to have a good time, 2, i missed him, and 3, now I have another person to eat with because Jake is always D2E (down to eat, duh). The funny thing about Jake, however, is even though he's D2E, he has the metabolism of an 8 year old. Basically he can really pack it away and it's just not fair. Anyways, whats a better way to commemorate a semester filled with delicious foods then with a brunch? I knew that brunch would be a big surprise because its not like I ever talk about it, right? Jake suggested we hit up the Tap House, a spot right on campus. I've been for dinner before and wasn't in love but was willing and ready to give them a chance for brunch. Located upstairs with lots of glass windows, the Tap House is spacious and upbeat yet still manages to have a warm and comfy atmosphere. I was in a light mood so I ordered the spinach salad. The salad was beautiful and fresh, made up of spinach leaves, roasted butternut squash pieces, bacon, radishes, fresh cranberries, and dressed with a sherry vinaigrette. The tart bite of the fresh cranberries really complemented the richness of the squash and the heartiness of the bacon. It was simple, elegant, and used fresh seasonal ingredients, something I'm very fond of.

Jake went with the margherita pizza. The crust was thin yet still maintained a little bit of doughiness that absorbed the sauce perfectly. What makes something as a simple as pizza good is the quality of ingredients. I could tell that the Tap House believes this as well as the tomato sauce tasted extremely fresh and had that fresh-off-the-vine taste.

Since two plates is never enough I took it upon myself to order us the brisket hash. A massive flat cake of browned potatoes topped with two sunny side up eggs and steaming pieces of brisket greeted us warmly. As soon as it touched the table we both stopped eating our own dishes and quickly attacked our communal plate, fighting over pieces and pulling the plate closer to each of our sides. It was simply delicious. The potatoes were brown and crispy and had great texture, just the way I like them. The brisket was smokey and tender and with a piece of potato and a dip of runny egg yolk, we both didn't touch our own plates again until we demolished every bite.

Needless to say, it was a perfect way to kick of my eating adventures with Jake and look forward to hearing about him a lot because there are many more food trips involving him to come.

my brother's hungree 2

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Brunch Club

The other day I woke up very very hungree. I turned on my phone and started to text a few people when I discovered I had made brunch plans with three separate people the night before. Ooops...So what better way to address the situation then combine them all into one big brunch club? All 10 of us met outside and contemplated where to go. We wanted close to campus, good service, and amazing food that would wake us up and put as all in GREAT moods, so we chose Sabrina's. I know this is like my 3rd post on Sabrina's, but its one of my go-tos and I cannot get enough being that the specials change so much and my constant desire to try everything on the menu. That was why going there with my brunch club was such a great idea, I got to taste 10 different things. Seriously, I'm  a genius. I couldn't decide if I was in a sweet or savory mood so I went for the tofu scramble; spiced tofu, red peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spinach, served with a side of crispy hash browns and wheat toast. OMG I'm so healthful!! NO but seriously, it was amazing. The tofu had a flavorful punch and the texture of all the different vegetables made it even more amazing. Scooped on a piece of buttered toast and folded into a sandwich, this ones definitely a winner.

Kels and Daniella got the Barking Chihuahua, a flour tortilla filled with eggs, cheese, black beans, peppers, and topped with sour cream and guacamole. If you haven't tried Mexican for breakfast, come to Sabrina's and try it, NOW. It was like literally just steaming hot wonderful flavors and tastes all tucked neatly into a warm tortilla blanket. YUM.

Felman got a sandwich: chicken cutlet, melted provolone, and spinach on crusty bread. It was verrry good but my one suggestion was that it needed a little something like pesto mayonnaise or some kind of spread to really send it over the top. It was served alongside some parmesan fries that were crispy and totally banging. Ripka got a grilled chicken southwestern salad and enjoyed it thoroughly. Classic Ripka, classic salad.

Jesse and Ginor split eggs benedict and chocolate chip banana pancakes (as per my design because I'm obsessed). Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to try the eggs benedict because Jesse finished his too fast and Ginor dropped his entire poached egg in his lap. Better luck next time Nor! One tip for the poached eggs is make sure you request canadian bacon if you want the classic because it comes meatless unless otherwise specified. The pancakes, however, were BOMB.COM. Not that I expected anything less due to our pancake consumption on my last visit to Sabrina's. There was the perfect large number of chocolate chips and mixed with a bite of gooey caramelized banana, I had to sit down my head was spinning. Here's Jesse, really into his pancakes.

Rache and Justin got the lox and onion omelette. I'm not a lox fan so I didn't try this one, but it got good reviews!

Now, for the champion of the meal. Obviously one plate per person is never enough so someone took it upon themselves to order the table a Stuffed French Toast. What is stuffed french toast you ask? Only the most amazing thing on the planet. Its massive pieces of challah french toast sandwiched with a mixture of cream cheese and mascarpone cheese and in this case bananas. Its basically cream cheese frosting. Doused in rich maple syrup and powdered sugar, I can now die happily. I don't think you understand to the extent that this dish affected my weekend. First off, it haunted my dreams. Second, we are in the process of sorority rush and someway somehow, this french toast wound up in every single one of my conversations...nuf said.

So, I've said it before and I'll say it again, go to Sabrina's, and make sure you're hungree because you will be leaving practically immobile and very very happee. And thank you to The Brunch Club. Look for more adventures from TBC: Felman, Ripka, Kelsey, Daniella, Elliot, Jesse, Ginor, Rachel, and Justin.

back to brunching

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Salad with Poached Egg

Sadly, tonight was the last night, the last supper before I return to school, and I was in the mood to be creative. I wanted something light and refreshing and salad or eggs came to mind. I love salad and I love eggs. And then it came to me, a salad with a poached egg, one of my favorites dishes inspired by this incredible salad I had at this restaurant in Aspen, Colorado. Surprisingly I've never poached an egg before even though its my absolute favorite style of eggs. They're light and fluffy and with the runny yolk in the middle, a delicious surprise that in this case works incredibly when paired with a vinaigrette dressing. My poached egg experiment luckily worked first time around and now I will be making them ALL THE TIME. Something great about poaching eggs is that there is literally no mess, so much easier to clean up then when frying in a skillet. For the salad, I combined a bunch of different lettuces like raddichio, endive, butter lettuce, and frisee. I added some grilled artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, and some diced spring green onion for a little texture. For a vinaigrette, red wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper made for a light and simple dressing. I tossed the salad with the vinaigrette then embellished it with my beautiful baby of a poached egg. Sprinkled with some kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper and a light dusting of fresh thyme leaves, you have a beautiful and extremely impressive dish. BON APPETIT!

 And then I broke it...mmmm

bye home!

Winter Fruit Pie

Yup, it's official. Today I made the perfect pie. I know what you're thinking, perfect? ya right. But if you were here to taste this one then I can confidently say that you would 100% be on board with agreement. Since I go back to school in 48 hours, I decided to make the most of my time at home and spend all day in the kitchen. I was in a pie mood and started searching the web for inspiration and came across a winter fruit pie. I adapted the recipe to my liking and pretty soon my project was underway. 3 hours later I had my result, a golden toasted pie filled with warm gooey fruit topped with a walnut crumble. The pie is filled with pears, apples, cranberries, and I added dates. The tartness of the cranberries is incredible when combined with the rest of the sugary fruit and the dates really add a nice texture. The crust, an all butter one, the way crusts should be, was flaky and sweet. The crumbly topping mixes the nuttyness of the walnuts with the sugary mollasessy-ness of brown sugar and when it's baked and oozing with bubbling fruit juices it is honestly to die for. SO, if you're in the market for a perfect pie, look no further because this is the winner right here.

PS. it was very hard for me to write that description without wanting more, so I had to cut another slice mid-post. Ya, it's that good.

Deep Dish Winter Fruit Pie with Walnut Crumb, adapted from Epicurious

Pie Pastry
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tbs granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbs cold salted butter
4 tbs ice water
1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice

Walnut Crumb Topping
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup raw walnuts, chopped coarsely
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
7 tbs melted butter

Fruit Filling
1 cup dried dates
4 small apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/2 inch thick
4 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbs cornstarch
1 tbs lemon juice, fresh squeezed

Recipe: To make the crust, put the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl, stir to combine, then put the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes. Add the butter to the flour mixture and using a food processor or electric mixer, mix until it becomes crumbly and course and the butter is the size of peas Stir the water and lemon juice together then pour over the dry ingredients. Stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened, dump the dough onto a well-floured work surface and press it into a 6 inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and regrigerate for at least 1 hour. After an hour, roll the chilled dough into a 14 inch disk. Butter a 9 inch pie pan and press the crust into the dish. Cut off the trimmings. Chill for an additional 30 minutes in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the pie.
To make the walnut crumb topping, mix the flour, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl. Stir in the butter, then work it with your hands until the texture is crumbly. Put the topping in the fridge until you make the filling. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
To make the fruit filling, remove the pits from the dates, then boil them in a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain, set aside until cool. Once cool, peel of the skin with your hands. Dice the dates. In a large bowl put the apples, pears, cranberries and dates. Add the sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice, and mix with a spoon to combine thoroughly. Transfer the filling to the pie shell and top with crumb topping. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 60-75 minutes, or until the crumb is golden, the fruit juices are bubbling thickly. If the topping gets too dark while baking, cover it with foil.

Serving suggestions: Serve warm with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream. MMM.

NOW: in pictures

 Now lets take a closer look...
And finally, a bite.
Hope you're hungree!