Pear & Vanilla Crumble


  • 3 tins of quartered pears in juice. (You can use fresh pears if you wish, but you’re giving yourself a lot more work for little reward.)
  • 250g raw sugar.
  • 225g self raising flour.
  • 175g butter.
  • ~6-8 teaspoons vanilla extract. (This might seem a lot, but it’s quite a large dish.)


Preheat oven to 180°c.
Pear & Vanilla Crumble - Step 0

While the oven warms up, take a large caserole dish…
Pear & Vanilla Crumble - Step 1

… Add drained quartered pears – save the juice. (You can slice them further if you wish, these pears were fairly small though.)
Pear & Vanilla Crumble - Step 2

Add about 1 cup of the juice back over the pears. (This might seem round about, but if you used all the juice you’d end up with a terribly soggy mess.)
Pear & Vanilla Crumble - Step 3

Spoon about 150g of the raw sugar over the mixture.
Pear & Vanilla Crumble - Step 4

Drizzle vanilla extract over the pears – the specks you can see here are vanilla seeds. 
Pear & Vanilla Crumble - Step 5


Add the flour into a large mixing bowl.
Pear & Vanilla Crumble - Step 6

Make a divot in the flour, then add the soft (microwave softened if you’re lazy like me) butter.
Pear & Vanilla Crumble - Step 7

Add the remainder of the sugar.
Pear & Vanilla Crumble - Step 8

Crumble the mixture. It’s fun to do it with your hands – and I think you end up with a better, slightly more dense, crumble – but it’s also possible to do it with a spoon if you don’t feel like getting your hands coated in this delicious mixture.
Pear & Vanilla Crumble - Step 9

Carefully distribute the crumble over the top of the pear mixture.
Pear & Vanilla Crumble - Step 10

Until it’s nicely covered. You can press it down a little, but it should be a fairly loose covering. It will be quite a thick layer.
Pear & Vanilla Crumble - Step 11

Bake until the crumble is golden brown, and some of the juice has bubbled up around the edges and caramelised. This will take at least 45 minutes. But the longer you can leave it beyond that – just as long as the crumble doesn’t burn – the better the result will be, this one was cooked for about 60 minutes, and I only took it out of the oven because I had to take it to dinner with friends.

The crumble will end up tasting something like shortbread, and the fruit, juice, & sugar will cook together into a wonderful peary caramel.

It’s that delicious fruity caramel that requires the longer cooking time, it takes quite a while for the mixture to heat up and start to cook through – the longer you give the sugars in the fruit & juice the more they’ll change into caramel. The best result I’ve had was after about 80 minutes of baking, and I assure you that it was worth the wait – unfortunately there’s seldom time to cook for that long.

It’s optional, but preferable, to serve it with custard – and perhaps even a little scoop of nice French vanilla ice cream as well.

Pear & Vanilla Crumble - Step 12

Serves 10 lovely people, who will happily gobble it all up.
Pear & Vanilla Crumble - Step 13