I have a feeling if ever there was a definition of ‘becoming an adult’ it would more than likely read something along the lines of ‘grows their own XYZ’. And while moving into a house with a pear tree in the back garden and a sprawling bramble bush overgrown from next door creeping into our front garden isn’t exactly classed as ‘growing’, I’m very much enjoying making the most of the fruits of
our someone else’s labour.
After an abundance of sun followed by rain, both of our fruity hand me downs were doing incredibly well and heavy with fruit. The bramble bush in particular seemed to bloom extra early, and we were scooping up tubs full of them from mid July (attempting to pick the best before they got eaten by passers by walking the pavement next to our drive!) and by August the pears were ripening and falling freely.
When I showed off our pear haul over on Insta Stories and asked what I should bake with them, nearly every one of you said a crumble, and as soon as September hit and those first signs of Autumn appeared, I actually couldn’t think of anything I wanted more than a warm crumble covered in custard (it helps that as far as recipes go, crumbles are super easy and can be done while also occupying a 6 month old ;-)). And so our homegrown fruit was quickly whipped into a delicious autumn pudding, ate while curled on the sofa watching Bake Off this week – perfection.
I’ve never actually used pears in a crumble before (usually opting for the classic apple variation) but actually, the sweetness of the pears mixed with the tartness of the brambles made for a pretty tasty combination and I’m now wondering whether it may rank above apples and rhubarb in my crumble appreciation book*.
Anyway, I realise crumble isn’t particularly groundbreaking on the baking front and you’re probably all well aware of how to throw one together, but read on for the recipe I used or check out this lightly spiced version from one of my favourite food bloggers, The Mother Cooker who makes it look far better than I ever could!
What you’ll need
A healthy pear haul (homegrown or otherwise, with skin, core and any worms making house removed)
A tub of brambles
120g plain flour
60g sugar (I use soft brown sugar for that caramel taste)
60g unsalted butter
pinch of cinnamon
extra brown sugar for stewing the fruit
How it’s done
1. Peel, core and chop up your pears and place in a pan with a little water and a spoonful of brown sugar and leave to simmer until the fruit has softened (you could also add the brambles to this but personally mine were already pretty soft so I chose just to throw them in the crumble as is)
2. Place your flour and sugar in a bowl and add your butter, chopping into cubes.
3. Rub the butter into the flour until you have a breadcrumb consistency and then add the oats
4. When the fruit has stewed simply pour into your oven proof dish (make either one large crumble or a few individual ones like I have), adding in your brambles and topping with the crumble mixture.
5. Sprinkle a little brown sugar on the top so that it caramelises in the oven and then bake for around 20-30 mins (depending on the size of the dish and how soft you like your fruit/crunchy you like your crumble.
6. Remove from the oven, pour custard over generously and dive in.
Autumn in a dish, right there. Here’s hoping I can manage to pick another round of pears before the weather completely turns!
I’m hoping to get back to baking more regularly – if there’s any particular recipes you’d like to see, just shout! And as always if you do give this one a go, tag #BakewithBB on Insta/Twitter so I can see!
*not an actual book, but maybe it should be.