French pear crumble

I love crumbles of any kind, but this one has become my new love. Pears are one of my favourite fruit, so this recipe was a must try. It came from my French friend, as 'les crumbles' are very fashionable in France too. She likes trying out new flavour combinations and the ones she uses here are very different.
When cooked, pears always seem to go mushy, but cooked in this way, they seem to hold their texture.
It's also a new way of making a crumble - sprinkling it onto pear halves, instead of onto sliced or quartered pears.

You need:
for the crumble:
100g flour
80g soft brown sugar
1/2 tspn ginger
80g butter + about 20g to grease the dish
1 tspn soluble coffee

for the rest:
4 pears
50g sultanas or raisins
30g butter

Preheat oven 180C/gas 4

Put the sultanas or raisins in a bowl of warm water and leave them to soak for about 2 hours.

To make the crumble - put the flour in a bowl, add the ginger, sugar, coffee and the butter cut into pieces. Rub the butter in till you have breadcrumbs - not too fine.
Wash the pears, cut each in half and take out the core.Melt the 30g of butter and coat the pears with it.
Butter a gratin dish and put the pears, skin sides down into the dish and cook for 15mins in the oven, then take them out.
Drain the fruit. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over each pear half and add some of the fruit.
Cook for 20 mins till the crumble is golden and serve the pears warm.

The crumble topping was delicious - I loved the subtle hints of coffee and ginger. This has made me want to try out other flavours in a crumble mix. The pear was soft but not squishy - a great way to cook it.
Another recipe I'll be making again.


I do love pears - especially in desserts and cakes. This looks to be right up my street. There seems to be a bumper crop of pears around here this year, so this is just right. I remember being surprised to see a crumble on a French menu for the first time quite a few years ago, but within a year they seemed to be everywhere in France. Quite right too. I've noticed a lot of interest in scones in French blogs lately - maybe that's the next big thing.

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