Hazelnut, honey and pear crumble
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tam West
This crumble is ideal for entertaining as it can be prepared in advance. There are plenty of pears available at the moment, both brown and green skinned varieties are ideal. Look for firm ones as they will keep a nicer shape. They can be roasted and stored in the fridge, and the hazelnut crumble keeps well in an airtight container.
What to serve with it? I like a nice scoop of vanilla icecream slowly melting into the hot crumble topping, then there's the option of cold runny cream poured carefully round a hot, steamy crumble island; slightly sweetened whipped cream with a dash of vanilla or your favourite liqueur, a healthy dollop or two of natural thick Greek yoghurt or, if you really want to impress, try a jug of velvety smooth, homemade, real-egg custard. My recipe is at the bottom of the page.
- Heat oven to 180C. Split and scrape the seeds from vanilla bean and place seeds and bean in a small saucepan with honey and lime juice. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Peel pears, quarter and carefully remove cores, then place in a roasting dish.
- Pour over honey lime glaze. Gently toss pears in glaze then roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Carefully turn the pears during the roasting to develop flavour and fully glaze.
- Meanwhile roast hazelnuts for 5 minutes. Tip the nuts into a clean tea towel and rub the papery brown skins off. Roughly chop then place in a roasting dish.
- Place butter, sugar, flour and baking powder in a food processor and blend until almost combined.
- Mix with the chopped hazelnuts and bake for 10 minutes until crisp and golden. Allow to cool, then coarsely crumble.
- Serve pears either hot or cold, with hazelnut crumble generously scattered over the top.
Real egg custard
Bring 2 cups milk and 4 Tbsp cream to the boil. Whisk together 4 egg yolks, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 Tbsp caster sugar and 2 tsp cornflour. Pour hot liquid on to yolk mix and whisk well, return to the pan and whisk over a medium heat until custard thickens. Take a look at Geoff’s step-by-step instructions on how to make custard.