I don’t know about you, but I tend to associate fruit crumbles with being homey and traditional. Kinda boring, but comforting. Well, folks… you haven’t met this baby. This Pear & Ginger Crumble is a fruit crumble on steroids… boring it ain’t!
What gives this crumble the ‘wow’ factor? Imagine soft, caramelized pears, combined with zesty lime and the strong bite of stem ginger, all encased beneath a crunchy, crumbly topping and slathered in cream that slowly melts into the caramel sauce beneath. Yep… I’m salivating as I write this!
This recipe from Jamie Oliver, is called ‘Best Ever Fruit Crumble’. I’m dubious about ‘best ever’ titles, and don’t like to use them myself, but I have to say that hands down, this is the best crumble I’ve ever eaten and I can’t wait to make it again! I adapted it ever so slightly, adding brown sugar to the filling rather than white sugar – I reckon it gives more depth of flavour. And I’d recommend you decide for yourself how much ginger and lime works for you – it is pretty flavoursome (which I think makes it so darn good), so I suggest you taste it as you go along so that you’re happy with the balance of flavourings. Anyway… that’s enough pre-amble from me… run, don’t walk, to the kitchen and start peeling those pears!
Pear & Ginger Crumble
For the crumble
- 200 g plain flour* see note below for a delicious gluten-free alternative
- 90 g caster sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 115 g unsalted butter
For the filling
- 100 g light muscovado or plain brown sugar
- 100 ml water
- 4-5 ripe pears** peeled, cored and cut into chunks
- 4-5 pieces stem ginger in syrup finely chopped
- Juice and zest of 1 lime plus extra for serving
- Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Sift the flour into a bowl and add the sugar, salt and ginger.
- Cut the cold butter into chunks and rub it into the flour mix with your hands until you get a mixture that looks a bit like fine breadcrumbs (or, if you’re inherently lazy like me, you can just pulse the mixture in a food processor). This is the crumble topping.
- To make the filling, boil the water and sugar together, then carefully drop in the pear chunks and simmer gently for a couple of minutes.
- Add the chopped ginger and the lime zest and juice to the pan and stir. Spoon the mixture into one large ovenproof dish or 4-6 small ones (the liquid will fill about half your dish and will bubble up and may spill over top as it cooks; that’s normal – as it cools, it actually caramelizes and provides a beautiful sauce).
- Sprinkle the crumble topping over the top of the fruit, piling it high in the middle of the dish and leaving space at the edge for the caramel to bubble up. Place the dish/es on a baking sheet to catch any juices that may spill over.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the pears are cooked and bubbling and the crumble is golden on top (I actually put the grill/broil on for an extra 5 minutes to give the topping extra colour and crunch – you need to watch it carefully though!). Take out of oven and place on a wire rack to cool. This pudding is equally yummy served either warm, at room temperature, or cold from the fridge. Serve with a dollop of cream or crème fraîche with lime zest grated over top.