This pear and chocolate crumble is the BEST and most indulgent dessert you can throw together in no time, it’s so easy! Pear crumble is a brilliant, traditional way to make use of this seasonal fruit but we take it to the next level with this self saucing dessert. It’s also completely gluten free. What’s not to love?
I can’t tell you how often this goes down in our house, but let's just say my pear and chocolate crumble is AMAZING! It’s been made many many times over the last few weeks and I promise you’ll be doing the same too! Imagine this, a pear crumble with a chocolate sauce and a crispy chewy oaty topping, with chocolatey goodness oozing out as you crash your spoon through it. This recipe will change your life and it’s so quick and easy to make too! Crumble is all about the sweet juicy fruit filling; with this crumble you'll get all that mixed with unctuous chocolate too. Win-win!
The first things that pop into my head when thinking of pear crumble is sweet fruit, spices and then a floury buttery crumble and soft broken down pears. Check out this maple pecan pear cake which hits all those notes too. But this crumble is on another level completely - trust me. The oat and almond topping is almost flapjack-like and I can’t begin to describe the joy this gives me. This is my modern and approachable take on pear crumble. There's no more boring pear crumble for you and your family as we've got you the best dessert you can eat this autumn. (Besides, ahem, the BEST easy chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I mean check out the comments, they're being raved about!)
I know you’ll love this pear crumble recipe, so make sure to leave us a rating and comment below with how much you love it!
Ingredients you’ll need
You only need simple ingredients for this pear and chocolate crumble. Let’s get to it and show you what you need:
Pears - I used Packham pears, but you could also use Rocha, Williams, Bartlett or Forelle pears - I would recommend any pear that is firm. I feel the Conference pear might cook down a bit too much for this recipe.
Chocolate - I used semi sweet chocolate with about 50-55% cocoa solids. Anything less than that and you’ll be in the realm of making it too sweet. You could use a higher percentage cocoa bar if you prefer a less sweet dessert, but it would be very rich.
Maple syrup - I use maple syrup as it combines with the sauce nicely and balances it. You could substitute honey if you prefer. It’s also used to sweeten the oat topping.
Cream - I use double/heavy cream as this gives a lovely luxuriousness to the sauce. I mean a dessert needs to be luxurious right?
Tahini - I use this lovely creamy sesame seed nut butter to bind the oaty crumble topping - If you don’t have tahini I’ve got some recommendations down below.
Rolled oats - I use jumbo old fashioned rolled oats as they give a lovely texture to the topping.
Almond meal/flour - Traditional crumble toppings are made with all purpose flour and are a lot finer in texture. I use almond meal/flour to add a nice nutty flavour, chewy texture and it makes this dessert gluten free too. Almond flour, ground almonds or almond meal will all work here.
Almonds - I love to use some chopped almonds in the pear crumble topping as it further adds to the texture but they are optional if you prefer not to use them.
Salt - Any cook or chef worth their salt will tell you chocolate or a good dessert is always enhanced with a pinch of salt and this pear and chocolate crumble is no exception. You’ll definitely notice the difference without it.
Don’t have tahini? - Don’t worry, if you don’t like tahini or have a sesame allergy, you can directly substitute for another nut butter you like, just make sure its a natural runny one though. I have tried almond butter and it works just fine. Alternatively you can just melt ¼ cup (56g) of butter and stir it through the topping ingredients and use that instead. You won’t get the same clumpy texture but it will still be a nice topping for the pear crumble - I've tested it!
Use granola - you can use a fruit free granola to sprinkle on top of this instead if you want to make it even faster. Just be sure to cover the pear crumble with tin foil whilst it bakes so it doesn’t burn.
Change up the nuts - go crazy, throw in pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts, just roughly chop them up and use what you have.
Make it vegan - All you need to do to make this pear crumble vegan is use dairy free chocolate and oat cream. I have personally made this pear crumble with oat cream. It works just fine, it’s just a bit thinner than using double/heavy cream. Still does the same job though!
How to make it
This pear and chocolate crumble is so quick and easy to whip together it’s unreal. Especially if you are only making a single sharing portion (smaller quantity of ingredients to prepare!) Follow this guide and you’ll be enjoying dessert in no time.
- Whilst the oven is preheating, peel and chop the pears into ½ inch pieces. Finely chop or grate (shave - see tips) the chocolate.
- Place the chopped pear and chocolate into a large bowl along with the heavy cream, maple syrup, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
- Stir the filling together, you’ll see the cream starting to turn into a light chocolate sauce.
- Divide the pear crumble filling between smaller dishes or one larger pan or oven proof dish (1 litre/4 cups in volume).
- In another bowl, mix together the tahini and maple syrup until well combined.
- Add the rolled oats, almond flour, chopped almonds and salt. Mix together with a spoon until it’s combined and sticking together but easily breaks apart when crumbled with your fingers.
- Place all of the crumble topping over the pear and chocolate filling.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180C/350F until golden brown and the sauce is bubbling at the edges. (if it’s browning too quickly, place a bit of foil over it to prevent it from burning)
Want to know what makes this the best pear and chocolate crumble? These tips and tricks will ensure you create the perfect indulgent dessert.
Tip # 1 - Chocolate - Some advice about which chocolate to use: get a chocolate bar, chocolate chips do NOT work, neither do larger chunks of chocolate as some other recipes recommend. I strongly recommend either very finely chopping (effectively shaving the bar) with a knife, or grating the chocolate bar to ensure it is fine enough. You’ll know this is done well if the cream starts to look like chocolate milk when stirring the pear crumble filling together. Another way is to use a food processor to finely chop the chocolate but for me it’s too much hassle and washing up, far easier to use a knife or box grater.
This is all about making it the best dessert you’ll have this autumn. You don’t want to sit down and just have large chunks of partially melted chocolate with lumps of pear. Don’t miss this tip as finely chopping the chocolate helps it to melt and become a self-saucing crumble.
Tip # 2 - Make smaller portions - For photography reasons I chose to bake this in a pan/dish with a volume of 1 litre (4 cups), but it started out as smaller sharing crumbles in dishes that hold about 250ml/1 cup of liquid. Both ways work very well, but making smaller portions makes it so much easier to serve and you can just dig right in with a scoop of ice cream on top.
If you only want enough for one smaller dish (you can still split that one dish between two if you only want a little dessert) just divide the recipe by 4. The full recipe will serve 6-8 people and the smaller dishes will serve 2 people easily or one person who just wants to indulge.
Tip # 3 - Crumble texture - The pear crumble topping should be naturally sticking together with the tahini or nut butter you use. If it’s sticking together in one big clump and looking quite wet, it’s not quite right, add just a touch more almond meal/flour. It should stick together but still break up when you rub it together with your fingers. You’ll get a nice chewy, crisp topping to your crumble from this.
What to serve with pear crumble
Ice cream - serve this pear and chocolate crumble with some lovely vanilla ice cream. As much as I love that my husband first suggested having chocolate ice cream with it, I personally think that would be a bit too rich. In general, ice cream works! Hot and cold together is the best.
Cream - Traditionally, British crumbles are served with cream or custard. Well, as much as I love custard, I don’t think it would be a good accompaniment with this pear crumble, but cream definitely is. Just pouring cream or even spray cream is good!
I have not tested the recipe with tinned pears, but would expect that they would be too wet to use. If you do want to try it out, I would suggest drying them off in paper towels to ensure they aren’t soaking wet with the juices from the can. They also may cook down further and go a bit mushy in the final crumble. If you have tried this out, do let me know how it goes in the comments. The above is what I would suggest doing if tinned pears is all you’ve got.
I would recommend using pears that are slightly ripe for this recipe. Unripe pears will work absolutely fine, they just might be a little more firm at the end of baking. This isn't a bad thing and I'd definitely recommend using an unripe pear instead of an overripe pear, which might affect the consistency of the chocolate sauce.
I personally wouldn’t recommend freezing this crumble as I’m not sure how the cream and pears would act once defrosted. The pears will likely leach more liquid and would make the self-saucing dessert too thin.
Yes! I would prepare everything for the pear crumble up until the baking step and leave it covered in the fridge until you want to bake it. I would recommend bringing it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before baking so you aren’t putting a cold dish into the oven as it may crack, depending on the dish you use.
Absolutely! In the testing of this pear crumble recipe we obviously had leftovers. We kept them in the fridge for a couple of days and it was just fine.
To reheat, I would recommend placing it in an oven proof dish, covering the crumble with foil and placing it in a preheated oven at 180C/350F for about 20-30 minutes until hot throughout. I have not tested reheating in a microwave, but would say it would likely make the crumble go soggy. Using the oven has worked well though.
Want more desserts?
I hope you love this pear and chocolate crumble as much as we do. If you make it, be sure to leave a comment, rate the recipe and tag #eatloveeats on Instagram! I love to see your creations!