Chef shares ‘comforting’ crumble recipe using ‘nutrient rich’ pears

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Apples and pears are just two flavoursome fruits that are in season during February, making them ideal for snacking on or adding to your favourite sweet recipes. While you may think about chopping them up fresh to enjoy with porridge or other warming winter meals, you could also try stewing them up into a seasonal crumble. Lisa Marley, plant-based chef and head trainer at ProVeg UK has shared her unique recipe to try this month.

Speaking exclusively to, Lisa (@lisamarleychef on Instagram) said: “Apples and pears go hand in hand and pairing them in a crumble ensures a beautifully comforting winter dessert. Pears are in season and at their best, they are easily available and reasonably priced.

“Eating seasonally is preferable for the environment, and for your health as the produce is nutrient-rich and also cheaper. What’s more, seasonal fruit is fresher and picked at its peak – so when it’s stored for less time, it will therefore taste better.”

The chef noted that in addition to the benefits of low cost and added flavour, changing your diet according to different harvest seasons is also incredibly good for your health.

Even when enjoying sweet treats such as this apple and pear crumble, consuming timely produce can still provide “immune-boosting” benefits, as the harvest “reflects what your body needs”, according to Lisa.


To make this classic crumble with a seasonal twist, you will need two sets of ingredients for the filling and crumbled topping

For the filling:

  • Three Braeburn apples, chopped
  • Two conference pears, chopped
  • Four tablespoons of Agave Nectar *can substitute for three tablespoons of caster sugar
  • Two teaspoons of sweet cinnamon
  • 30g raisins or mixed peel

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For the crumble:

  • 100g spelt flour
  • 75g plain flour
  • Two Weetabix, crushed (or similar)
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 40ml vegetable oil

Unlike most crumble recipes, there’s no need to pre-cook the fruit before baking so it’s even easier to make a quick, warming dessert. However, you will need to cut it up into smaller chunks to ensure it cooks evenly until soft.

Lisa said: “Ripe fruits and fruit that are out of date are perfect for a crumble. Typically, fruit is sweeter when it’s past its sell-by date and can actually improve the flavour of the dish.

“Other fillings you can try and enjoy would be plums, rhubarb, summer berries and for a tropical theme you can add pineapple and a crunchy coconut topping.”

Start by chopping your apples and pears into small cubes, each around 2cm wide. Add to a large bowl along with the cinnamon, raisins (or mixed peel) and agave.

If you’re using caster sugar instead of agave nectar, add this in now and stir until all ingredients are combined.

Pour into a medium-sized, square baking dish and firm down with a spatula to create an even base. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients for the crumbly topping.

This includes both types of flour, the Weetabix biscuits (or unbranded wheat biscuit cereal alternative), sugar, and oil. Once combined into a very light brown, sand-like texture spread evenly over the fruit base.

Place into a preheated oven at 180C and cook for 35 minutes until golden on top. Lisa said: “Leftover crumble is as delicious as freshly made. If you keep the crumble refrigerated, it can last up to five days. Cover it loosely and keep it away from any strong-smelling foods.

“Ideally, you should reheat it in the oven to keep the crumble crunchy, but popping it in the microwave is also fine. Even cold, this crumble is delicious and adding chopped nuts provides more flavours, goodness and an extra crunch.”

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