Juicy plums and pears topped with an almond flavoured crumble. This plum and pear crumble is the perfect autumnal dessert.
I’ve made a lot of crumbles over the years and I mean a lot. Throughout the cooler months of the year, it is our go to Sunday family dessert.
Despite all the crumbles I’ve made this is the first time I tried pears in one and it seems we have been missing out. The pears perfectly compliment the plums in this delicious pudding.
Making the crumble mixture
Crumble is an easy dessert that is great for the novice or young baker to tackle. The flour and cold butter are rubbed together until they look like coarse breadcrumbs. Then just enough sugar to sweeten the crumble is stirred through the mixture and you have the classic crumble mixture.
For this recipe I have added some ground almonds to give the crumble an extra light texture and some additional flavour.
It is easy enough to rub the butter into the flour by hand with your fingertips, remember to lift your hands high as you do this as it will add air to the mixture making a lighter crumble. Then stir in the ground almonds and sugar.
But if you have a food processor then this job just became even easier. You simply put all the ingredients at once into the processor bowl then blitzed a few times until the crumble mixture is formed.
I’ve used a mixture of plums (windfalls from my tree) and pears for this recipe but you could replace the pears with apples if you like. I would opt for a dessert apple that holds it’s shape in the crumble – Granny smith or Braeburns would be perfect.
Other fruits that would pair well with the pears instead of the plums would include apricots, raspberries or blackberries.
Did you know?
Crumble became really popular during world war II as a dish similar to a pie but using much less butter and flour which were in short supply. And of course, sugar was also in short supply so crumbles also gave a bit of a sweet hit with the natural sweetness of the fruit.
Can you freeze crumble?
If you have any crumble leftover allow to cool, then move to the refrigerator and eat within 3-4 days. I find that unlike pies, crumbles reheat well in the microwave (you really don’t need long, less than a minute per serving will do.
Crumble can also be frozen both before and after baking. Wrap well and freeze for up to 3 months. To bake from frozen allow about an extra 15 to 20 minutes (it will depend on the dish it is frozen in and the depth of the crumble so may take more time). Cover with foil if the crumble starts to brown too much before the fruit is cooked. Test with a thermometer or by inserting a dinner knife into the centre for a few seconds the blade should feel hot when removed.
The uncooked crumble mixture will freeze in a freezer bag or container for up to 4 months. I often make up a double batch at a time.
The crumble can also be made with frozen plums.
We like ours with lashings of custard but crumble is also delicious served with ice cream, whipped or clotted cream. My Stem ginger ice cream goes very well with this dessert.
How to make Plum and Pear Crumble step by step
Easy Plum and Pear Crumble
for the crumble topping
- 200 g plain flour
- 100 g butter
- 100 g ground almonds
- 75 g caster sugar
for the fruit filling
- 500 g plums
- 2 pears
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
Make the crumble topping
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ (160℃ fan)/350°F/gas mark 4.
- Place 200g flour and 100g butter,100g ground almonds and 75g caster sugar into a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles crumbs. Alternatively, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the almonds and sugar and stir to combine. Set aside.
To make the filling
- Wash 500g plums, cut into quarters discarding the stones and place in a shallow baking dish. Peel, core and thickly slice 2 pears add to the dish. Sprinkle with 1 tsp cornflour and 3 tbsp caster sugar and toss to combine.
- Spread the fruit level in the dish and sprinkle over the crumble topping. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden.