The last two weeks we have had warm and beautiful Indian summer days. The roadside stands are abundant with peaches, nectarines, plums, apples, pears, raspberries, beans, and squash. I was excited to find Gravenstein apples at my favorite produce stand this week. I rarely see them here. The apples in this dessert are a mix of Gravensteins and crisp Golden Delicious. It is a good combination. The house smells wonderful while the crumble is baking. When it was finished cooking I set it on a rack to cool and before I knew it my husband and kids had half the dessert consumed before dinner.
For this recipe you bake the fruit first, stirring occasionally for half an hour, then add the crumble topping and continue baking. The filling develops into a lovely, meltingly tender fruit compote surrounded by a golden caramel. The crumble topping portion of the recipe comes from Nigella Lawson.
Caramel Apple Pear Crumble
6 c. peeled and thinly sliced apples (5-6 apples)
3 c. peeled and thinly sliced pears (4 pears)
Juice and zest of 1 small lemon
1-1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. freshly ground cardamom
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, diced
3 Tbsp. white sugar
3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 7 cup baking dish or a 9×13 pan. Mix filling ingredients together and pour into prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes stirring occasionally so the fruit cooks evenly. While the fruit is baking make the crumble topping. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Cut in the butter and mix to form coarse crumbs. Add white and brown sugar. Stir together and refrigerate until needed. Once the fruit has softened in the oven sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit. Continue baking for 25 more minutes until topping is golden brown and the caramel is thickened and visible on the sides and middle and the fruit is tender when pricked with a fork. Cool on a rack. Serve warm on its own or with a little fresh cream.