Thursday, October 23, 2014

Strawberry and Pear Crumbles

 It was a brown slimy substance defrosting in a ziplock bag on the counter. Brown liquid was accumulating in the bottom. My husband came home and pulled a face of disgust as he gingerly inspected it , and asked me what on earth that ungodly looking goop on the bench was. You know, when you buy too many bananas, and they start going brown on the outside and a little soft under the skin? I peel them and pop them in a ziplock bag in the freezer, ready for banana bread when I have the chance. When I told my husband that I intended to make a cake with this squelchy mess, I think he almost passed out.
He was so disturbed by it that I promised to throw it out. The next time I served banana bread, he had no idea that I used the same method for saving my bananas, and he loved that bread! I secretly chuckle and continue with the practice. What do they say-what you don't know can't kill you? I doubt that saying rings true for many cooking substances, but hey, I've worked in kitchens and seen chefs use the ten second rule and worse multiple times. Shhh...don't tell anyone I told you!
But back to over ripe fruit, it seriously carries an intensified flavour. I'm sure it doesn't apply to all old fruit and there's a fine line between old and OLD. Browning bananas always make the best banana bread, soft tomatoes make the sweetest chutney, you get the picture.
Well, I had a bruised pear and some strawberries that were looking pretty tired. I decided to slice them up and pop them into an apple crumble style dessert, without the apple. Also, being a sucker for vintage kitchen wares, I couldn't resist the opportunity to get out those pastel ramekins!
This is a really easy, go to recipe for a quick, delicious and nutritious dessert. It took as little as five minutes to assemble.
I was so surprised by how these two fruits came together in perfect harmony, topped with a delightful oat laden buttery crumble on the top with a dollop of cream. The juices of the strawberries had coloured the pear a soft pink, and it was a very pretty and scrumptious end to a meal.

STRAWBERRY AND PEAR CRUMBLES (A Lick the Spoon original)

1 large pear
1/2 cup strawberries
1 tbsp butter, melted
3 tbsp. plain flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp rolled oats
Cream to serve (optional)

Preheat the oven at 180C.
Peel, core and slice the pear. Slice the strawberries. Layer these two cut fruits between two oven proof ramekins. In a small bowl, pour the melted butter. Add the flour, brown sugar and oats. Combine until a crumbly dough forms. Sprinkle this mixture over the tops of the fruit in the ramekins. Cook for 15 minutes. Cool for a few minutes before serving with cream or ice cream if desired.

Serves 2

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