If you're faced with a fruit bowl full of pears which are going to be ripe and perfect for precisely the next two hours before they collapse into brown fur, try this pretty crumble pudding.
My husband, who was born in England, is putty in my hands when faced with any sort of fruit crumble or cobbler, especially if it involves berries of any kind. He suggested adding the blackberries to the crumble, and the almonds were my idea. This filling is quite tart: add more sugar to the fruit if you like.
Pear and Blackberry Almond Crumble
one small lemon
1 punnet blackberries (about a cup and a half)
60 ml (4 Tbsp) white sugar or caster sugar
For the crumble:
200 g cake flour
150 g cold butter, cut into cubes
100 g (about 1/2 cup) white sugar or caster sugar
50 g flaked almonds, plus a few tablespoons extra for topping
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Squeeze the lemon juice into a 28-cm-diameter pie dish. Now peel and core the pears, and cut them into wedges (an apple-wedging tool is perfect for this job).
Add the pear slices to the lemon juice in the pie dish as you prepare them, so they don't go brown. Scatter the blackberries over the pears and then sprinkle with the sugar. Set aside. Put the flour and the butter into the jug of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until it resembles fresh, fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and the rest of the flaked almonds. Pulse in the food processor until the almonds are well ground.
Cover the fruit with the crumble mixture, making sure that every piece of fruit is covered (but don't press down on the topping). Break up any claggy bits by fluffing them with a fork.
In the meantime, heat a frying pan, add the remaining flaked almonds and toss over a medium heat until golden and toasted.
Bake at 180°C for 40-45 minutes, or until the topping is crisp and the fruit juices are
beginning to seep from the edges. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds.
Serve with cream or custard - or both.