Pear and Chocolate Crumble
As I told you recently, I came into possession of several new cookbooks. This recipe comes from one of those books, simply entitled Cobblers and Crumbles. When I first saw this book, I thought to myself that those are two things I just don’t make frequently. In fact, in over a year and a half, I’ve only blogged about two of them. Why is that? Not a clue. I quickly decided that surely if I bought the book, I would make at least one in the not too distant future.
I chose this recipe for many reasons. First of all, Quinn loves pears. Secondly, I was intrigued by the combination of pears and chocolate. Thirdly, I wasn’t sure I had ever actually eaten pumpernickel. So, with our recent bout of winter weather, we decided that it was definitely time to make this.
Leaving Quinn in charge of the pear portion of the recipe, I got out my food processor and made the topping. Both components were very simple and quick, and dividing the labor had this lovely dessert in the oven in record time.
While the pear and chocolate combination was initially what interested me, the real winning combination is that of pear and pumpernickel. It may not be a flavor I’m accustomed to, but I really liked it. The pumpernickel on its own, I think, would have been overpowering. Mixing it with brown bread tamed it down just to the right level.
There is just something about warm, fruity desserts like this that makes them seem to belong in winter. Maybe the warmth of it makes it a bit like comfort food. In any case or season, this delicious crumble is definitely a winner.
Pear and Chocolate Crumble
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Pear and Chocolate Crumble combines sweet pears with chocolate and pumpernickel for a warm and wonderful comfort dessert!
For the filling:
- 2-3 large, not too ripe pears
- 1/4 cup superfine sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder* or grated bittersweet chocolate
- finely grated zest of half of a lemon
For the topping:
- 4 ounces sliced pumpernickel
- 4 ounces stale brown bread**
- 4 tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder* or grated bittersweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
To make the filling:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Set a baking sheet on the middle rack to heat.
- Peel, core, and slice (or chop) the pears. Place in a 1-quart baking dish, filling about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with sugar, cocoa, and lemon zest. Mix well to coat the pears. Cover and set aside.
To make the topping:
- Tear up the breads and put in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for about a minute until very roughly crumbled. Add the cocoa, butter, and sugar. Pulse for about a minute until finer crumbs form. Do not overblend. The topping may be chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Sprinkle the pears evenly with topping mixture. Place the baking dish on the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Pears should be tender and the topping crisp.
- Serve warm, preferably with ice cream.
*Sweetened cocoa powder is generally what is used to make drinks such as hot chocolate. I made my own using a ratio of 2 parts confectioner’s sugar to 1 part unsweetened cocoa powder.
**I used a sweetened wheat & oat bread from my local grocery store’s bakery.
Recipe slightly adapted from Cobblers & Crumbles.
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