Swoon-Worthy Summer Dessert: Cherry Pear Crumble

By Jeannette Ordas of Everybody likes Sandwiches

A crumble is probably the easiest way to gussy up summer fruits into a something comfortable and elegant. Pies can seem like too much effort, but a crumble is a cinch to prepare. But before you begin your own crumble journey, I have two tips for making perfect crumbles and crisps.

Tip One, use 2 or 3 fruits max. A one fruit crumble is fine and all, but four is overly complicated. I like using 2 or 3 fruits best. Think popular favorites like strawberry + rhubarb, apple + cranberry, or just try out your own delicious fruit combo.

Tip Two, large crumbles take the cake! One of the real joys of eating crumble is all of that delicious topping - and to make a good crumb you need butter, lots of it. You can get away with a smaller amount, but you'll get something more powdery and lackluster. Big, crunchy balls of crumble is the ideal - so get your mix to a dough-like consistency and then crumble it in big chunks over the top of your fruit.

I used fresh sour cherries here, but Bing or Rainier or any cherry that's ripe now is suitable. I had a couple pears to use up so in those went, but I think nectarines or peaches would be totally swoon-worthy companions to the cherries as well. Serve with ice cream or yogurt if desired.

Cherry Pear Crumble
4 cups cherries, pitted
2-3 pears, peeled, cored & diced
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
pinch nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon juice

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup whole oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375F. Add the cherries and pears to a casserole pan or deep pie dish, tossing with the sugar, cornstarch, extract and nutmeg. Pour in lemon juice and stir to combine. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine all the topping ingredients and use your hands to work in the cold butter into doughy clumps. Scatter the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake for 45 minutes until the topping is golden and the fruit have created a bubbly sauce. Cool slightly and serve.

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