[Banana Pear Pecan Crumble]
Fruit crumbles are perfect for when you have company: you can prepare the crumble dough well in advance, cut up the fruit when you have time, bake the crumble at your convenience (although same day is best for the crisp factor), and reheat it in the oven just before serving. I usually prepare enough dough for two crumbles and keep the remaining half in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for a few weeks, ready to top a new batch of fresh fruit in case of emergency (and one thing life has taught me is that dessert emergencies are not to be taken lightly).
Although nothing will ever dethrone the classic apple crumble, the concept lends itself to infinite variations and I like to experiment and come up with new pairings, using seasonal fruits and whatever I have on hand.
Today’s crumble features bananas and pears, and a topping starring toasted pecans and bran flakes. As they cook, the banana and pear slices fall into each other’s arms, melding together in a luscious soft compote, while keeping their textural identities. The crumble blanket covers it all, oven-crisp on top and softened by the fruit juices beneath, its complex flavors brought on by the use of unrefined sugar, some whole wheat flour, and salted butter.
A wintery, warm and satisfying dessert, which I made two weeks in a row — once for Marion (and her boyfriend Benoît who was sure glad he popped in at dessert time) and once for my family — to identical hmmmmm-this-is-really-good-can-i-have-seconds success.
Crumble Banane Poire Pécan
– 5 ripe pears
– 2 ripe (but not mushy) bananas
[consider doubling the recipe]
– 50 g sugar (preferably unrefined)
– 50 g flour (I use half all-purpose, half whole-wheat)
– 50 g whole-wheat bran flakes (substitute any other kind of whole-wheat cereal flakes)
– 50 g salted butter (if you use unsalted, add a pinch of salt)
– 50 g pecans
Toast the pecans in a dry skillet until slightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and chop, not too finely. In a food processor, mix together the butter, sugar, flours and bran flakes until well combined. Transfer the crumble mixture into a mixing bowl, and work with a fork or your fingers to add in the chopped pecans. (This can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen for a few weeks. It is hence a good idea to double the recipe.)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Peel, quarter and slice the pears; peel and slice the bananas. Combine the fruit in a 12-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the fruit, and bake for 50 minutes to an hour. If the top seems to be browning too quickly, cover the dish with foil and return into the oven.
Let rest for a few minutes on the counter, and ladle into bowls. You can bake the crumble earlier in the day and reheat for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. It is great on its own, but I’m sure it wouldn’t mind a dollop of yogurt, crème fraîche or a scoop of ice-cream.