Some twelve or so years later (and still not over it) and I'm revisiting a taste of my childhood. In fact, I don't think I've had any sort of crumble for five, maybe six, years. But in those twelve years my tastes have evolved from craving a sugar-filled dessert into something more refined. In this recipe I've also included bitter dark chocolate to give further complexity to the pears but it's not entirely necessary. The crumble without the chocolate is still really satisfying. The lavender gives this dessert a wonderful perfume that I think both kids and adults would enjoy. I've used lavender that we have growing in our garden. In fact quite a few ingredients I've used we grow in our garden. Maybe I'll do a garden special soon. I'd suggest a nice scoop of ice cream to accompany this for the kids and a nice thick clotted cream for the adults. I've served this with a lavender cream.
Lavender and Pear Filling
4 ripe pears - peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon crushed lavender
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
50g golden caster sugar
50g dark chocolate roughly chopped (optional)
130ml double cream
1/2 teaspoon crushed lavender
1/4 teaspoon lilac food colouring
5 tablespoons icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (gas mark 4). Place all of the ingredients for the lavender and pear filling (minus the chocolate, if you're using it) in a pan on a low heat for 10 minutes until the pear is tender. In the meantime rub the flour and butter until it resembles breadcrumbs (haha) and then mix in the ground almonds, sugar and salt. Place the pear mixture into an oven-proof baking dish and scatter the roughly chopped chocolate (if you're using it). Scatter the crumble mixture on top and then bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crumble is golden and the fruit is bubbling on the sides. Leave to cool for 30 minutes. Whisk the ingredients for the lavender cream until stiff. Serve the crumble with the lavender cream on top and garnish with lavender sprigs. Voila!