Berry and Pear Crumble


When I started ‘Cookery Schools in Country Houses’ in the early 90’s there were hardly any Cookery TV programs. Little did we know just how much they would dominate our lives in subsequent years. I always remember that the most popular theme was ‘Dinner Parties’ Simple but Impressive’ This theme has been over the years replicated in the monthly recipes – when writing, simple and easy to follow methods with key ingredients, without a long waffle to flower it up. It has also assumed some degree of kitchen competence.

TV Cooking now often has an entertainment value for many, rather than being inspirational for creating culinary delights The statistics even today are high on those that either don’t cook or cannot cook and rely on ready bought meals or take-away.

Of course this is obvious by the volume of meals available at popular supermarket chains. I often wonder what peoples taste buds are like if all they eat are ready meals loaded with preservatives and flavour enhances with often very little in the way of key ingredients.

This was a mission challenge for me when an elderly friend with a passion for Rhubarb Crumble asked me to make one, commenting that the bought ones were high on Crumble and very little on Fruit. I made as requested and delivered. My further mission purchased for her some ready Poached Rhubarb in tins and packets of Ready Made Crumble – she now has Crumble whenever she wants.

This brings me to my recipe for this month a glorious cheat which should not be confessed to. Little twists customise the dish and personalise it.

Berry and Pear Crumble with Orange Custard

1 Pkt of Frozen Mixed Berries

2 Tins of Poached Pears halves (You can you ripe fresh ones peeled and cored)

Raspberry or Strawberry Jam (optional)

Pkts of Ready Prepared Crumble Topping (Good store cupboard item)

Mixed Spice or Cinnamon

Carton or Tub of ready Made Custard

1 Large Orange

Orange Liqueur (optional)

  1. Place Frozen Berries in to an ovenproof dish and defrost.
  2. Scatter drained Pear halves over and add spoons of Jam if desired
  3. Mix Crumble topping with a little Spice of choice. (You could add some Desiccated Coconut or Rolled oats if you choose)
  4. Pour over Fruit and cover – you may need two packets.
  5. Bake in a hot oven till golden
  6. Take the zest of the orange and mix with the custard and add liqueur if required heat – either gently on the stove or in the microwave and serve.

Great for a mid week pudding or even better Sunday Roast Luncheon – enjoy !