Although apple crumble is probably one of the most well known “crumble” desserts, the concept translates very well to other fruits similar to it. Plum, rhubarb, cherry are all good types, but my favourite is the pear crumble. Crumbles are great for a proper winter dessert, and I love the contrast of hot and cold elements when you combine it with custard that has been sitting in the fridge or a plain vanilla ice cream. Even a hot custard works just as well with these sorts of puddings.
There are plenty of variations worth trying including stewing the fruit beforehand to produce a crumble with more sauce, or try cloves *and* cinnamon for a very festive treat. Here’s the recipe that I have used for a crumble pretty reliably:
Ingredients for the base
- 6 pears (for four people) – Find good cooking pears if you want more texture
- 20g brown sugar
Ingredients for the topping
- 100g butter
- 100g flour
- 3 tablespoons oats
- 1 tsp cinammon
- 30g brown sugar
- Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips. Or cut the butter into the flour with a knife. It should look a little like breadcrumbs afterwards.
- Mix in the oats, cinnamon and brown sugar. The oats give the crumble more texture. Try Demerara sugar for some more bite.
- Peel, core, and slice the pears into fan-like fingers. Arrange in layers until you at least cover the bottom of the dish you are using
- Sprinkle the 20g of brown sugar on top (not too much otherwise it’ll be too sweet)
- Cover the pears with the crumble topping and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 180oC until it’s brown
- Serve with your choice of accompaniment. Serves four people.
And now in pictures:
Measure out the butter.
Add the flour in.
With some cinammon.
Now with a knife, cut the butter into the flour, or rub it in with your fingertips. Your goal is to coat the butter with flour and minimise the amount of gluten.
Now add the brown sugar.
And muesli. Mix together, and top your cut up fruit.
After baking, enjoy the result. Serve with custard. I prefer the hot-cold contrast and decadence to have crumble served with ice cream.