I stayed at my parent's house for a few days this past weekend to watch the pets while my mom and dad were away. Every time I housesit for them I think I'm going to get all of this work done and be so productive. Also, every time, I end up binge watching some show and eating piles of cheese, and then regretting it pretty much instantly. The first night I was there I made some cheesy pasta, which really wasn't that good, and woke up the following morning covered in a rash. So dairy is going to be something that I don't cook with, and very rarely eat. I mean I'm not going to turn down a fabulous croissant once in a blue moon. That's just crazy.
When I'm at home I really focus on eating food that makes me feel good. Oftentimes when I visit my mom I totally bail and eat a bunch of junk (cookies, cheese, bread n butta) and just feel terrible the entire time. It's not like mom's feeding me kraft dinner or something, but I've decided to really focus on eating well consistently. I'm not going to eat those sugar and butter filled desserts because I don't want to make someone feel bad. If you don't eat it, you don't eat it. If someone's trying to make you feel guilty or picky because of that, then they're probably dicks and you don't need them. (Not that my dear and darling mother does that. Love you mama.)
About this recipe. I made it at my mom's first, and she didn't have all the ingredients I needed for a dairy free crumble, so I tested it first with butter. It was a bad decision for me, but Graham and my mom both loved it. The pear base with cardamom, maple syrup, and chocolate is phenomenal. Serve it warm if you can. The gooey chocolate with the crunchy topping and soft pears is just wonderful. If you eat dairy, go ahead and do a standard crumble topping here (I used oats, spelt flour, coconut sugar, hazelnuts, and butter). If not, or if you want a gorgeous and healthy option, follow the recipe as it's written below, with hazelnuts and oats. I adapted the crumble topping from my recipe for date squares. It's made with oats and oat flour, so if you prefer gluten free, this is a good option for you.
This is a pretty simple recipe, and it comes together very quickly. My friend Ashley has been on my case about posting recipes that she'll actually make, so this is one of those. Anyone can make a crumble, right?
You can trade in different types of fruit as you like here, and the cardamom would go particularly well with plums or apples. Pears are in season in the northern hemisphere in winter, and I encourage you to find out what fruits are in season at different times to get the best taste and most bang for your buck. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are always the best option for environmental reasons, too.
Serves around eight
6 pears, or about 4 cups diced
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
2 ounces very dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup oat flour*
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts*
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup ground flax
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Any baking dish will work for this, but baking time will vary slightly depending on the size or type you use. I used a 10x7x2 (inch) ceramic dish.
Peel and dice your pears, removing any woody piths. Add the pears to your baking dish along with the maple syrup, cardamom, and vanilla. Mix until the pears are coated. Top this with the chopped chocolate.
For the topping, combine the flour, oats, nuts, coconut sugar, flax, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Add the coconut oil and milk. Mix with a wooden spoon or squish it all together with your hands until a crumbly consistency forms. You should be able to make a loose ball that crumbles when you break it apart. Sprinkle the crumble on top of the pear mixture and chocolate.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the pears are soft and the crumble is golden and crispy. Serve warm for extra deliciousness, but it's very good cold as well. This will keep for 2-3 days. I topped these with a little coconut whipped cream and some extra chocolate.
1. I also tested the topping with spelt and kamut flour, and it turned out well with both. I'm not sure about other gluten-free flours, though. If you try it with something else, please let me know how it turns out in the comments.
2. Other nuts can be used in place of the hazelnuts - try almonds, or sunflower seeds for a nut free option. You can also leave the nuts out.