Oh my crumble: recipe

Pear & Blueberry Crumble

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.

Apple Crumble

The last few days have been a lot chillier here in Auckland. Time has snapped back one hour and the autumn rains have started. Despite rugging up in my deliciously warm shearling jacket and winter boots, I have still managed to catch the sniffles. One of the things that has been helping me feel better, alongside cuddles on the couch and watching lots of Antiques Roadshow, is bowls of apple crumble. It’s the ultimate comfort food – working well at breakfast, lunch, and dinner time.
Photo by inner_sea

Apple Crumble

The recipe is from my friend Leon. He says that personally he always doubles the crumb mixture, but I have made it both ways and it is fine. It really depends what ingredients you have on hand – it truly is a ‘throw-it-together’ recipe it). And on that note, it works a treat with berries or peaches thrown in with the apples.

For the apples:
6-8 apples (of any variety)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
¼ cup of water

For the crumble:
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup of melted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp ginger – optional

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Peel and core the apples, chopping the flesh into large chunks. Then boil with brown sugar and a little water until you reach the desired consistency – softened but still solid.

In another bowl, coarsely mix the melted butter together with flour, caster sugar and cinnamon to make crumble.

Put the apples in an oven proof dish, and then spoon the crumble evenly on top. 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 if you please.

Yield: 6 hearty servings