I’ve covered crumbles previously, with Leon’s lovely recipe, and with the weather changing from autumn into a definitively wintry vibe, I thought it was high time I baked one again.
It was Mark Bittman who said “There’s nothing you can do with an apple that you can’t do with a pear.”, and with a clutch of slightly elderly pears on hand, it was time to road test them in a crumble. Oats stop the topping being a total flour-fest (which I find to be rather lumpy sometimes) and give it a crunchier texture.
Pear & Blueberry Crumble
For the pear filling:
6-8 pears (of any variety) – or one tin of pears in juice
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
¼ cup of water – or simply the juice, if using tinned pears
Handful of frozen blueberries
For the crumble:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup of rolled oats
1 cup of cubed, room temperature butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp ginger – optional
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Peel and core the pears, chopping the flesh into large chunks. Heat in a saucepan with brown sugar and a little water until you reach the desired consistency – softened but still solid. At the last-minute, stir in your frozen berries, and take your pan off the heat, and leave to one side.
In another bowl, rub the butter together with flour, oats, sugar and cinnamon to make crumble. Cool hands are your best tool here – you want a rustic look, not fine breadcrumbs.
Put the filling mixture in an oven proof dish. Spoon the crumble mixture evenly on top, filling any gaps. Cook the crumble at 180C for about 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Serve warm, or at room temperature, with a helping of ice-cream or thick yoghurt (my housemates and I enjoyed it with passion-fruit flecked yoghurt, which was a winner).
Yield: 6 hearty servings
N.B. If you find yourself with too much crumble topping, put it in a Ziploc bag and freeze, you’ll be able to use it later, straight from frozen, for micro-crumbles (an earthenware cup of crumble for one!), or any other crumble emergencies you may face.