Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Pear and chocolate crumble.

Every year I forget how much I love pears.

Fruit is so prolific and so cheap throughout much of New Zealand that I don’t think much about pears when they’re out of season. I know I take for granted the apples, the peaches, the watermelon, the plums, the mandarins, the cherries. The lemons, the grapes, the feijoas that grow without effort in our small garden.

I usually taste my first pear around June, when the feijoas have finished, and that’s when I remember just how delicious they are – that gorgeous, soft, perfumed juiciness. It’s a very feminine fruit, the pear.

So it’s appropriate that in this recipe pear is paired with chocolate. I have tried both dark and milk chocolate  and my preference is for milk. It’s more subtle in flavour; dark chocolate can be overpowering. But you can use any plain chocolate of your choice.

The fragrance of the poached pears and the richness of the chocolate combine to make this a special occasion dessert, despite being a humble crumble.

In a large saucepan place 7 pears that have been peeled, cored and cut into eight pieces each.{My favourite pear is a New Zealand variety, Taylor's Gold.}

Add 100g brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 1 tsp ground ginger, the juice and zest of one lemon, and half cup of water. Simmer for around 10 minutes - pears should keep their shape but be tender.

Turn into a large baking dish.

Roughly chop 150g chocolate and sprinkle over pear mixture.

In a large bowl mix 200g plain flour, 100g oats, 75g brown sugar, and 1 tsp ground ginger. Rub in 100g softened butter, until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Spread crumble mixture over the chocolate and pears. Bake at 180C for 25-30 minutes or until crumble is golden brown.

Serve with cream, custard, or vanilla ice cream - or all three!

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