Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Hazelnut and pear crumble

One of my fellow allotmenteers Willie has a pear tree on the corner of his plot. Pears were hanging of his tree in mid October. Willie told me to help myself when they were ready as they were still a bit hard then. I went back a fortnight later to help myself to half a dozen or so, but not a single pear was to be seen in sight. Apparently, someone had helped themselves to all of his pears without his permission. A lot of this is beginning to happen at the allotment site.

Anyway, here is a a delicious seasonal pear crumble made with Conference pears from somewhere in England. The recipe is adapted from Entertaining with Friends.

Hazelnut and Pear crumble
Serves 4 - 6
850g conference pears, peeled and sliced
1 large lemon, zest and juice
30g of muscovado sugar plus tablespoon for syrup
1 teaspoon of ground ginger

Preheat oven gas mark 6.

First put all the crumble ingredients in a pot and cook on low heat for 25 - 30 minutes, till pears are tender and cooked through. You could also do this in the oven. When cooked drain pears with slotted spoon and keep the juices.

For the crumble topping
100g plain flour
30g light muscovado sugar
60g butter or vegan margarine

50g nibbed hazelnuts

Put crumble topping ingredients, except for hazelnuts in a food processor and blend to get a fine crumb like texture. Spread the crumble on a baking tray and bake for just over 5 minutes until lightly toasted. When cool gently mix in hazelnuts.

Pile the pears into oven dish or individual rings. I used 8 to 9 cm steel rings to make 6 individual ones. Then scatter a layer of the crumble over the top, pressing it on gently.

If doing individual rings, cook for about 10 minutes and longer if in a larger oven dish.

While crumble is cooking, return the saved pear juice to the heat and add 1 tablespoon of muscovado sugar and bring to a boil, then turn the heat low until the juice has the consistency of thick pouring syrup.

Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

Serve crumble with a little pear ginger syrup on each.

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