• What would apple crumble even be without its topping? (Savannah van der Niet)Source: Savannah van der Niet

Stewing your own apples and pears is a lovely touch, and in my opinion really makes this crumble sing.






Skill level

Average: 4.2 (28 votes)


  • 110 g (4 oz/½ cup) sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 cooking pears, peeled and quartered, cores removed (bosc and anjou pears work well)
  • 6 green apples, peeled and quartered, cores removed


  • 100 g (3½ oz) chilled butter, cut into 1-cm (½-inch) pieces (or use vegan margarine)
  • 165 g (6 oz/¾ cup) brown sugar
  • 150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 150 g (5½ oz/1½ cups) rolled (porridge) oats
  • 30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) slivered almonds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Put the sugar, spices, vanilla and lemon juice into a large saucepan. Add 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) water and whisk well over medium heat. Now add the fruit. The liquid should be just covering the fruit, so add a little extra water if necessary. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the fruit is pierced easily with a fork. Discard the spices. Drain the fruit, reserving at least 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) of the stewing liquid for the crumble; you can keep the rest of the stewing liquid for other uses. Set the stewed fruit aside.
  2. Meanwhile, make the crumble. Combine the butter, sugar and flour in a large bowl. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until it has a breadcrumb-like texture. Add the oats, almonds and cinnamon and mix again with your fingertips until everything is combined well. Store the mixture in the fridge until cold.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  4. Transfer the stewed fruit to a baking dish. Pour the reserved 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) stewing liquid over the fruit. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the top.
  5. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the fruit mixture is bubbling and the crumble is brown. Serve warm, with ice cream.


Recipe and images from The Shared Table by Clare Scrine, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99