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Christmas Crumble with Pear & Ginger (Kerstcrumble met Peer & Gember)

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Christmas Crumble with Pear & Ginger (Kerstcrumble met Peer & Gember)

Christmas Crumble with Pear & Ginger

Photo © Karin Engelbrecht
Crumbles and crisps are the lazy baker's salvation - they can be made in advance and endlessly varied. Our favorite version for Sinterklaas and Christmas features a crunchy crust of almonds, brown sugar and gingerbread cookies (use leftover kruidnoten, speculaas or whatever ginger-flavored cookie you prefer), with a warm, orange-and-ginger-spiked center of pears. Because we love the hot-cold contrast, we usually serve this crumble with ice cream, but whipped cream or hangop would make a good match, too. We suggest using best quality store-bought vanilla ice cream, or try making our cinnamon ice cream or boerenjongens ice cream.

Yield: Makes 1 pie.

Ingredients:

  • FOR THE CRUST:
  • 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup (90 g) fridge-cold butter
  • 3 tbsp light muscovado sugar (lichtbruine basterdsuiker)
  • 5 speculaas/ginger cookies or 20 kruidnoten
  • 1/3 cup (40 g) slivered almonds
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 6½ cups (800 g) firm pears, peeled, cored and chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 tbsp light muscovado sugar (lichtbruine basterdsuiker)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small organic orange, zest and juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 pieces of stem ginger, chopped
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • YOU WILL NEED:
  • A 2-pint (1 liter) pie dish

Preparation:

For the crumble: Dice the butter into 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes. Rub the flour, salt and butter together. Stir in the sugar. Pulse the cookies in a food processor until it turns to a crumbly rubble. Alternatively, put the cookies in a strong plastic freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin until crumbled. Add the crumbled cookies and the almonds to the flour-butter mixture and mix well. Now spoon the crumble mixture back into a plastic freezer bag and place in the freezer until needed. This step can be done several days in advance.

For the pear filling: Grease a pie dish. Cook the pears with the butter, sugar, orange zest and -juice and vanilla extract in a non-stick pan, over a medium heat, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the stem ginger and sprinkle over the flour, and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the pie dish, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until needed. This step can be done several hours in advance.

To assemble and cook the crumble: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Remove the pie dish from the fridge and the crumble topping from the freezer. Top the fruit with the crumble topping. Cook in a preheated oven for 20-35 minutes until the crumble has browned and the fruit is hot through. Serve warm.

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