Monday, November 22, 2010

Chocolate and pear crumble

We have been rather overloaded with pears this year - the tree in the garden was positively groaning in them and they seemed to ripen all at exactly the same time. We picked the lot and left them in the cool shed whilst we pondered their fate. We ate a few here and there and used them in various puddings but the greatest thing we did with our pears was this fantastically warming chocolatey crumble.

Chocolate and pear is a fairly classic combination. I've never been entirely convinced by the pairing myself. I'm a bit funny about chocolate with fruit in general. My only true exception is chocolate and orange which I adore but sadly my husband hates orange so it is a combination I don't get to enjoy all that often. He loves chocolate and pear though. His favourite pudding is something he calls 'chocolate pear upside down pudding'. I've tried to recreate this fondly-remembered childhood pud but sadly I find myself lacking. He always declares it 'very good', but 'not quite what my mother used to make'.

I'd decided to leave this well alone and move on but then I spotted an interesting sounding recipe in a newly acquired Aga cook book. The 'Aga Bible' by Amy Wilcock is an excellent tome for anyone new to Aga cooking (or for new ideas for those who've had one for years). It has plenty of advice and a good mix of classic and more imaginative recipes. This crumble is much like a regular crumble only the 'crumble' has the very welcome addition of cocoa powder and grated dark chocolate. The result was spectacularly good. I'd love to say that 'this is terribly rich so you'll only manage a small helping' but I'll tell you now that even though it was rather sweet and rich, I greedily devoured two helpings.  Best served with vanilla ice cream or regular cream.

Chocolate and Pear Crumble
Serves 6

100g chilled butter, plus a little extra for greasing
6 ripe pears (I used Conference)
1 tsp ground ginger
80g plain flour
60g ground almonds
100g golden caster sugar
3tbsp cocoa powder
75g chilled dark chocolate

1. Lightly grease a deep medium-sized ovenproof dish with butter. Pre-heat oven to 180C.

2. Peel, quarter and core the pears before chopping into chunks, popping in the prepared dish and sprinkling with ginger.

3. Using a food processor, whizz together flour, almonds, sugar and cocoa until blended. Cut chilled butter into small pieces and add to processor. Pulse until you have crumbly breadcrumb consistency.

4. Coarsely grate the chocolate into the processor and give another whizz. Pour/spread crumble mix over the pears.

Conventional cooking:
Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.

2-door Aga:
Put dish into Aga roasting tin and hand on 4th set of runners in roasting oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes and then transfer to simmering oven and cook for a further 20-25 mins or until the fruit is tender.

4-door Aga:
Cook on 3rd set of runners in baking oven for 35-40 minutes.


Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours said...

I am jealous of your pears, and aga, and place in the country.

Love the idea of the chocolate in the crumble.

Beth (Jam and Clotted Cream) said...

how can he hate orange!? This looks lovely- a proper comforting pud

Antonia said...

Helen - I am very lucky although last night the Aga went out and I didn't feel quite so lucky! The chocolate crumble was a revelation to me. Delicious

Beth - I know - very odd indeed. He's not keen on citrus fruits generally.

bellini valli said...

Lucky you to have so many pears waiting for their moment to shine.

Lucy said...

I love chocolate and orange combinations but I haven't tried chocolate with pear before. Your crumble looks irresistible and I shall definitely be trying it out in the freezing winter weather :)

Choclette said...

Pear and chocolate does it for me and after I made my first chocolate crumble earlier this year, I'm convinced.

C said...

Looks delicious and I'm glad to hear that it's perfectly possible to eat lots of it, despite it being rich. I know I'd want to eat lots!

Chocolate and pear do sound like a good combo. I sometimes love chocolate orange and sometimes am happy to leave it, but it's mostly love! I can love the majority of chocolate items that come my way!

Maggie said...

The pear crumble sounds delicious Antonia. Pleased that you are getting to grips with the 'Aga'.

Success Is said...

Your crumble looks picturesque and I will definitely be trying it out for the big dinner in 2 weeks.