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It looks like Irene will have calmed down quite a bit by the time she reaches us, but even so, the high winds of a strong storm are bound to bring down trees and branches, and whenever that happens, the electricity tends to go out.  Forget batteries and bottled water—I’m doing some emergency preemptive baking so we’ll have something to sustain us while we watch the rain pound down. First it’s a quick pear and plum crumble to use up some of the fruit that’s somehow managed to escape being baked already.  I know what you’re thinking—hasn’t she made about a dozen crumbles already?—well, yes I have, but I’m trying to show you how versatile they are, and remember the Mario Batali clip about scorpacciata?  That applies to crumbles, too.  Pretty soon I’ll be ready to move on.  But not just yet. Beautiful pears are starting to show up in the stores, but all by themselves they can be a little bland, so I added in a couple of plums for color and a punch of flavor. You know the drill by now…the base formula for a crumble topping requires a cup of flour or flour-like substance, 5 or 6 …


serves 4-6

Total time

0 minutes




  • topping
  • ½ cup of ground almond meal
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 6 tbsp soft butter
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom*
  • fruit
  • 3 pears, peeled and sliced
  • 2 plums (sliced)
  • juice of lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F
  2. Mix the topping ingredients together with clean hands until it is a crumbly dough.
  3. Put the fruit in a square baking pan.  Toss with the lemon juice to coat.
  4. Top the fruit with the crumbly dough and bake for 45-50 minutes until hot, bubbly, and golden. Cover the top with foil toward the end of baking if it's getting too browned.
  5. This crumble serves 4, but you could double it and bake in a 9x13 pan or any large shallow baking dish.
  6. View the recipe instructions at The View From the Great Island

Contains allergens
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