Apple and Pear Crumble is a wonderfully warming pudding, perfect with custard, cream or ice cream for a super comforting and easy treat.
I’m obsessed with fruit crumbles. As soon as the weather starts to cool down and the afternoons get darker I’m putting crumble on top of everything.
Fruity crumbles like this apple and pear crumble are the perfect warming pudding. I love a big portion served with loads of custard.
While they taste and smell great, for me one of the best things about an Easy Apple and Pear Crumble Recipe is that it’s super simple. Rub together some crumble, peel and core some fruit and throw it all in the oven.
Crumbles are also fantastic if your kids suddenly go from loving pears to not liking them, leaving you with a fruit bowl full!
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What Kind of Apples Should You Use for a Crumble?
Ideally, cooking apples are the best for any baking, whether it’s an apple cake or a crumble.
Cooking apples are tarter, they have a stronger flavour, and they aren’t as sweet. This means that they retain their flavour and don’t go too soft and mushy as they bake.
But it’s not essential.
Strong flavours are best, so something like a Granny Smiths, but you can use whatever you’ve got.
What Kind of Pears Should You Use for a Crumble?
The same goes for pears. Ideally, you’ll want something quite firm with a strong flavour. But you can use whatever you’ve got, we tend to buy Conference, so I use them.
In my recipe, I’ve said to use 4 large pears and 2 large apples, but you can make changes if you like one flavour more than the other or if your pears or apples are tiny.
I make Apple and Pear Crumble with Cinnamon and Nutmeg too. Just a little of each but I think they add a little extra flavour, and always smell absolutely fantastic.
Should You Peel Apples and Pears for a Crumble?
Yes. Always peel, core and chop your fruit into 1-2 cm chunks.
It won’t hurt if a little skin is left on, but try not to leave any big bits.
Should You Pre-Cook Apples for a Crumble?
No, there’s no need to pre-cook apples or pears when you make an Apple and Pear Crumble Recipe.
Why is my Crumble Topping Soft?
Your crumble should be crunchy, but not so hard that it’s difficult to eat.
If your crumble is too soft, there are a few possible causes:
- You’ve used margarine, not butter. Margarine is oil-based and so much softer, which means that you can use it, but you’ll need quite a bit less. I’d start with a few tablespoons and rub in before adding more.
- You haven’t baked your Apple and Pear Crumble with Oats for long enough. If the top is browning too much but the crumble isn’t crunchy yet, cover lightly in foil and carry-on baking so that the top doesn’t burn.
- Your crumble is too thick. My recipe is for quite a lot of crumble. If you are using a smaller dish than me, your crumble and fruit will be in thicker layers, and they’ll need to bake for longer.
- Your crumble is too thin. If it’s too thin, the juice from the fruit will coat it, and it won’t get crunchy.
- You didn’t rub the crumble enough. It should be fairly fine without any huge lumps. The bigger the lumps, the softer it will bake.
- If you’ve got all of these things right and still no crunch, try swapping light brown sugar (which I always use without problems) with demerara, which is harder and will give you more of a crunch.
How Thick Should a Crumble Topping Be?
I can’t say that I’ve ever actually measured my crumble.
For this recipe, I use an ovenproof dish that’s around 14inches by 8inchs, and I add all of the crumble.
I lay the fruit evenly in the dish, before sprinkling on the crumble making sure that it covers the fruit, and adding more to create an even layer. It’s probably between 1-2cm thick.
Can You Freeze Fruit Crumble?
Yes. You can either freeze your Apple and Pear Crumble with Oats and Cinnamon whole or freeze in individual portions.
You can either freeze baked or unbaked.
For unbaked, just place in a sealed container and freeze for up to three months.
If you want to freeze a baked fruit crumble, remove it from the cooking dish and leave it to cool quickly in a clean tub before sealing and freezing, again for up to three months.
Thaw in the fridge when you are ready and bake in an ovenproof dish for 30 minutes until the fruit is hot. If it was baked before freezing, you might want to cover it loosely with foil so that the top doesn’t burn.