Apple, pear and brown sugar crumble

Think you can’t beat a traditional apple crumble? Think again – the secret is all in the fruit. Here eating apples stay chunky, British bramleys cook down to a fruity sauce and pears add an aromatic sweetness.

  • Vegetarian


3 bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
3 seasonal eating apples such as early windsor, worcester or estivale (or use jazz or braeburn later in the year), peeled, cored and cut into chunks
2 tbsp cornflour
50g light brown muscovado sugar
1 lemon, zest and juice
4 conference pears (or use taylor’s gold or concorde later in the year), peeled, cored and cut into chunks

Crumble topping:
200g plain wholemeal flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
good grating fresh nutmeg
75g rolled oats
200g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
75g light brown muscovado sugar
75g demerara sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
100g hazelnuts, roughly chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 160˚C, gas mark 3. Toss all the apples with the cornflour until it’s mostly absorbed, then place in a saucepan with the sugar, lemon juice and 200ml water. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened but not mushy, then turn off the heat, stir in the pears and lemon zest and tip into a baking dish (about 1-1.5 litres in volume).

2. For the topping, mix the flour, spices and oats in a bowl, then rub in the butter to a crumbly mixture. Stir in the sugars, hazelnuts and a pinch of salt, then scatter over the fruit. Sprinkle with a little extra demerara sugar and bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden.

Make it gluten-free

Swap the wholemeal flour for buckwheat flour and use gluten-free oats.


This recipe first appeared in Waitrose Kitchen magazine. myWaitrose members can download the Waitrose Kitchen app edition for FREE. Find out more.

Apple, pear and brown sugar crumble
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes 60 minutes 30 minutes

Serves: 8

Nutritional Info

Typical values per serving:

Energy 2,487kJ
Fat 30.4g
Saturated Fat 14.5g
Carbohydrate 73.3g
Sugars 47.5g
Protein 6.8g
Salt 0.1g
Fibre 7.4g

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3 stars

Average user rating Based on 152 ratings

This recipe was first published in Thu Aug 28 11:43:00 BST 2014.