I don't often make desserts on weekdays thanks to time constraints. I wish I had more time and energy to do them. I love them. Sometimes there are days where I do make the effort for a second course and it's usually on the coldest days, or days where I am pretty sure the kids are not going to eat much of the main meal before it. (Never would I tell them that though - skip main course and be rewarded with dessert? - No way!)
I love hearty, healthy desserts - especially hot ones like self-saucing chocolate pudding or fruity options with custard style bases. I am not a great lover of cream or ice-cream even. I really don't enjoy the taste of fatty things so much as things with subtle, natural flavours like crumbles.
I have made many apple crumbles in my time but I really hadn't branched into other fruits as an option like rhubarb or pears.
Very recently, I was sent a gorgeous cook book to promote here on the blog on behalf of Australian Pears. This stunning softcover book, Rediscover Australian Pears Volume 2 is published by the industry body for Australian pear growers and features full glossy images of delectable treats made with the humble pear, compiled by an impressive line-up of Australian chefs: Maggie Beer, Stephanie Alexander, Karen Martini and Guy Grossi to name a few.
There are 66 gorgeous recipes for all times of the day and the book is a delight to read with bold, beautiful images and plenty of storage tips.
The cook book was released on July 7th 2014 and for a very limited time it is available free at Woolworths supermarkets with any 1kg purchase of Australian pears. From the 28th of July it will be available from selected retailers for the RRP of $12.95.
We will be putting this cook book to much use in the future.
With my desire to bake dessert re-inspired, I set about creating a pear and apple crumble using the fruits I had available in my fruit bowl (and a handy packet of walnuts I found in the pantry). This recipe is not actually from the Rediscover Pears recipe book but is a bit of a mix of several crumble recipes built from scratch. I used Corella pears in my crumble which are a firm eating pear and require a little extra cooking time - the result was delicious with kids hovering for seconds very quickly. (Note to self: Make a double batch next time.)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
600 grams of pears (around 5-6 pears) cored and sliced,
400 grams of apples (approx. 3 apples) cored and sliced,
2 tablespoons of brown sugar,
Juice and rind of one lemon.
Place all ingredients into a saucepan and cover and cook for around 10 minutes on a very low heat until they are soft but firm still.
When cooked, remove from heat and line a baking dish evenly with the fruit mixture.
Mix 100 grams of walnut meal (blend whole walnuts in a blender until crumbly),
80 grams of caster sugar,
170 grams of plain flour. (You can substitute with wholemeal flour for a more grainy consistency if desired.)
80 grams of margarine softened on a microwave.
Mix the dry ingredients well and add margarine. Roughly chop the margarine into the dry ingredients using a wooden spoon until you have a crumbly consistency.
Sprinkle this topping over the baked pear and apple and decorate with a few whole walnuts.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the crumble topping is browned.
Try almonds as an alternative crumble topping in this recipe.
Serve with custard or cream. This dessert makes a great baby or toddler treat too - just make it to a consistency your child can manage.
For more pear recipes and tips, head to the Rediscover the Pear website.
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