Mother's Day for most is a celebration that involves food. Young children often help their fathers prepare breakfast or lunch for their mothers this Sunday, while grown-ups might invite an honored parent for dinner.
When our son Michael was growing up, he and his dad would sneak down to our kitchen and make all sorts of clanging noises as they pulled open drawers and searched through cupboards before proudly arriving with a tray of pancakes, juice and coffee for me to enjoy in bed.
This year, I have even more reason to look forward to Mother's Day because a few months ago, Mike and his wife welcomed a baby girl. Since Edie is not old enough to assist her dad with cooking yet, I plan to help him prepare lunch on May 11.
Barbecuing is my son's forte, so he will pull out the grill and cook lamb chops or steaks over an open flame until charred outside but still juicy and pink within. A favorite crusty potato gratin and a romaine salad tossed with avocado slices and sweet grape tomatoes are favorite side-dish selections. Desserts, however, are not his passion, so the sweet course will be up to me. I decided on a fruit crisp because it is easily transported.
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Warm Mango, Banana and Pineapple Crisp With Vanilla Ice Cream
1 1/2 cups diced ( 1/2 -inch cubes) fresh pineapple (see Note)
3 ripe but not mushy bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2 -inch slices
2 ripe but not mushy medium mangoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
4 to 5 limes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
6 tablespoons light brown sugar
6 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons sweetened coconut flakes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 quart vanilla ice cream
Butter a 2-quart, shallow baking dish.
Mix together the pineapple, bananas and mango in a mixing bowl and spread evenly in the prepared pan.
Grate enough zest from the limes to yield 1 tablespoon. Juice the limes to yield 3 tablespoons. Sprinkle the lime zest and juice on top of the fruit and toss lightly in the pan to mix.
To make the topping, combine pecans, brown sugar, flour, coconut flakes and butter in a mixing bowl and, using your fingertips, rub together until mixture resembles pea-sized clumps. Pat mixture evenly over the fruit mixture.
Bake in middle of 375-degree oven until topping is crisp and golden and fruit is hot, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and cool 10 minutes.
(The crisp can be prepared 4 to 5 hours ahead. Cool and leave at room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap when completely cool. Remove plastic and reheat in 350-degree oven until hot, 15 to 20 minutes. If topping starts to brown too quickly, cover loosely with foil.)
Serve the crisp warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Note: Buying diced fresh pineapple in the produce section of the supermarket will save time. Pineapple sold this way is usually cut into large cubes, so make certain to cut these large pieces into 1/2 -inch cubes.