Spicy apple and pear crumbles with blackberry cream

  • Serves 4
  • Hands on time 30 mins, plus 20 mins cooking time
  • Easy
This posh fruity crumble recipe will impress at any dinner party.

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  • 450g cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 firm dessert pears, such as Conference, peeled, cored and sliced
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 100g Billington’s Golden Caster Sugar
  • 75g butter
  • 175g plain flour
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 50g Billington’s Light Muscovado Sugar
  • 50g lightly roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • A little Billington’s Demerara Sugar, to decorate

For the blackberry cream

  • 150g fresh blackberries
  • 2 tsp Billington’s Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp crème de cassis (optional)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 300ml double cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Put the prepared apples and pears, lemon zest and caster sugar into a pan, cover and cook over a medium heat for 7-8 minutes or until both fruits are just tender. Tip the fruit into a sieve set over a bowl and leave to drain and cool slightly.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour and then stir in the mixed spice and 1 tablespoon of the muscovado sugar. Place 4 lightly buttered 10cm metal pastry cutters onto a greased baking tray and spoon 2 heaped tablespoons of the mixture into each. Press it down lightly with the back of a spoon to make a base, then spoon over the apple and pear mixture. Save the fruit syrup for later.
  3. Stir the rest of the muscovado sugar and the hazelnuts into the remaining crumble mixture. Spoon evenly over the top of the apple and pear mixture, then bake the crumbles in the oven for 20 minutes until golden.
  4. Meanwhile, make the blackberry cream. Set aside 8 of the blackberries. Put the rest of the blackberries, the caster sugar, crème de cassis, if using, and lemon juice into a bowl and crush lightly with the back of a fork. In a bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold in the blackberry mixture.
  5. Carefully lift the crumbles onto warmed plates and carefully lift off the pastry cutters. Sprinkle the tops with a little demerara sugar and spoon some of the blackberry cream alongside. Decorate with the reserved blackberries and serve with the reserved apple and pear syrup.

From October 2005

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