Pear Cranberry Crumble (Paleo)

I debated over and over again about what I wanted to my first recipe post to be, then I realized simple is truly best and posting something accessible and non daunting would be the way to go.

My love for desserts lead to me making something that would fall under the dessert and breakfast category because I chose to keep this recipe relatively low sugar.

To touch on my “My love for desserts” comment; I’m not a sugar junkie, but there is something I love about watching people light up when they are served dessert. I also genuinely admire it when it’s something that’s not laden in white sugar and white flour, but used with more wholesome ingredients.

I’m not a trained pastry chef, however after culinary school I did work within some pastry kitchens and quickly fell in love with those that used the alternatives to transport a traditional dessert, or traditional ingredients into something gluten free, something paleo or something vegan. For me it really changed the way I saw desserts. I also believe that desserts shouldn’t be sugar laden, overly portioned and should really be looked at a treat and consumed in moderation, but that’s the nutritionist in me speaking.

I get it, because I’m human – sometimes you just want a damn cookie and you don’t want to care about sugar they used. Fair.

However for the other 90% of time, I think opting for the more wholesome choices will land you in a position of better balance and more will power against white sugar cravings.

In terms of winter desserts (even though it’s currently an odd 6 degrees in January), I believe it’s just as important to focus on seasonal ingredients just as you would a savoury dish. For example, if I go to a restaurant in the dead of winter and see a berry tart (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry) on their menu or lemon meringue pie – I feel like I get an eye twitch.

So for this grain free crumble I went with the humble pear, a fruit I don’t think is utilized enough. To add some contrast I added some tart cranberries (a fall/winter berry). Then to balance the flavours, I threw an apple into the mix. In this crumble, I chose not to pre cook/sauté the filling because I wanted a firmer texture as the topping is little softer then your average crumble.

As with any dish, and this is something I’ll usually do within my posts, is mention how having at least 2 of the 5 taste profiles in a recipe and some contrast in texture will allow for a more satiating meal, bite or treat. Just as there should be nutritional balance, we should also have flavour balance.

Sweet – Pear
Tart (Sour) – Cranberries
Creamy – Butter
Crunch – Pecans

Pear Cranberry Crumble
Serves 6 – 8
~Paleo~

Ingredients:
3 D’anjou , peeled, sliced into rounds – remove core
1 fuji apple, peeled, sliced into rounds – remove core
½ cup frozen cranberries – halved
1 cup (86g) not packed, blanched almond flour
¼ cup (33g) coconut flour
1/3 cup (49g) coconut sugar
1/3 cup (73g) chilled butter, cubed
¼ tsp sea salt
1/3 c (52g) pecans, roughly chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
zest of 1 orange
1 tsp grated ginger
¼ tsp ground clove
1-2 Tbsp Ice water (optional)
2 Tbsp (22g) butter, melted for filling
2 Tbsp (13g) tapioca flour, for filling
2 Tbsp (1 oz) orange juice

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×9 2”deep baking dish.
  2. Add your sliced pears and apples to a bowl of acidulated water, just squeeze ½ a lemon and add the half lemon into the bowl of water. This is to prevent from browning will you’re prepping the rest of the ingredients. Strain, when ready to use.
  3. All the almond flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, salt, 1 tsp of cinnamon and the 1/3 cup chilled butter to the bowl of a food processor.
  4. Process on high to form a dough, if it’s too granular then add the ice water 1 Tbsp at a time until it just comes together. Remove and fold in the chopped pecans, then set aside.
  5. In a small bowl whisk the orange juice with the tapioca flour, to create a slurry and set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, toss the strained apples and pears, cranberries, orange zest, 1 tsp cinnamon, ginger, clove, melted butter and slurry.
  7. Layer the filling in the bottom of your pan and pour over any remaining juices.
  8. Crumble the topping over the entire layer fruit, then bake for 45 minutes until the crumble topping is golden.
  9. Let cool for 15-20 minutes then slice and serve.

 Notes:

  • If you’d like this sweeter, you could add 2 Tbsp of coconut sugar into the filling to make it a little richer.
  • You could top this with coconut cream or a full fat dairy cream of your choice.

I hope you enjoy, if you have some awesome crumble combinations I’d love to hear about them!

-Chef Steph

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