During late fall and winter, pears are in season. The delicate sweetness and buttery flesh of a ripe pear makes this fruit one of the fruits I look forward to most throughout the year. Since it is a struggle for me to catch pears at their peak ripeness—they are either unripe and too hard or overripe and too soft—I choose to eliminate the unpredictability by poaching the pears on the stove or roasting them in the oven. When cooked through, pears still retain all the qualities I adore in their fresh counterparts.
While summer calls for cool and refreshing pear sorbets, winter calls for a warmer approach. This crumble unites tender pear with the warm spices of cinnamon and ginger. An aromatic hint of fresh thyme blended into the oatmeal crumble lends an unexpected, but welcome brightness. To complete the dish, a couple spoonfuls of brandy are stirred into the pear filling. The combined juices stew down at the bottom of the pan while the topping browns.
The complex flavor profile of the crumble takes familiar flavors and combines them in such a way that they feel like a new (and delicious) experience.
This Pear Ginger Thyme Crumble is a fruit-based dessert that takes advantage of winter fruit and spices. Pears, stewed down in their juices with vanilla and brandy, are topped with a crisp crumble topping. The oatmeal topping is sweetened with brown sugar and spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and fresh thyme. Serve the crumble hot or cold with a scoop of ice cream or spoonful of whipped cream.
Two Years Ago: Bruleed Lemon Tart & Chocolate Almond Cake (GF)
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Raspberry Tarts
FourYears Ago: Honey Oat Bread, Banana Cacao Buckwheat Muffins, & Chocolate Almond Biscotti
Five Years Ago: Bruleed Grapefruit, Bacon & Chive Beer Bread, Pomegranate Panna Cotta, & Toasted Almond Cookies
Six Years Ago: Cheddar Dill Biscuits, S'mores Brownies, Beer Bread, Roasted Pepper Feta Scones, & Chocolate Rum Cake (GF)
Seven Years Ago: Yellow Cake, Vanilla Rum French Toast, Banana Bread Oatmeal, & Chocolate Blueberry Ice Cream
Pear Ginger Thyme Crumble
Yields 6-8 servings
5-6 large (about 3 pounds/1.4 kilograms) Bosc or Bartlett pears, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon brandy, optional
Ginger Thyme Crumble
1/4 cup (57 grams) coconut oil, liquid state
1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup (40 grams) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (60 grams) old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
For the pear filling, coat the peeled and diced pears with the lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the granulated sugar, vanilla, cornstarch, and brandy, stirring until uniform. Spread evenly into a cast iron pan or a greased 9-inch pie pan.
For the crumble, stir together the coconut oil and brown sugar, mixing until it forms a uniform paste. Stir in the flour, oats, spices, and salt until uniform. Break the crumble topping into small pieces and sprinkle crumble topping over the top of the pears.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the pears are bubbling and the crumble topping is browned. If the topping browns before the pears have finished cooking, cover the pan with aluminum foil to prevent further browning and continue cooking.
Serve warm or cold, with a side of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.