“Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all it’s flavor.” ~ William Cowper

Spiced up pears remind me so much of Christmas, and on a blah monsoon morning, it’s the perfect sort of treat to warm up the soul.

Most refer to crumble as a dessert, but for some reason, I refuse to look at a crumble as a real dessert. It has no chocolate nor is it like a cake… and the oat crumble is just far too breakfast-y for me. This isn’t exactly the sort of desert I prefer after a fancy dinner; it’s more fitting for an afternoon tea… or for a sneaky breakfast… ahem…

But by no means do I make the rulebook, and it’s so incredibly easy to make, every amateur cook can whip this up in a jiffy. Please do offer this as dessert, I don’t judge – as long as it’s this yummy, it really doesn’t matter. And if you’ve made it from scratch, you deserve a pat on the back, no matter what.

So this crumble is spiced up, with Christmas spices such as vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, ginger powder. The heat from the ginger is what makes the big difference. I also add the surprise element of crystallised ginger which works amazing well, and can please even the fussiest eater.

And so what if we are a few months earlier, it’s never a bad time to celebrate a bit of Christmas 🙂

[yumprint-recipe id=’70’]


The Recipe
Serves Yields: 5 mini ramekins | Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 50 mins


  • 2 pears, cubed into bite size pieces
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ginger powder
  • 1 star anise
  • 5-6 crystallised ginger, chopped
  • For the Crumble:
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp cold butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp sliced pistachios
  • Pinch of sea salt


  • In a pan, combine the water, sugar, spices, cranberries and pears.
  • Cook on low to medium heat for around 30 minutes, until the liquid thickens slightly to a syrup consistency and the pears are cooked through.
  • Remove the vanilla pod and cinnamon stick.
  • Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the oats, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon and pistachios.
  • Rub the cold butter into the mixture to create crumbs.
  • Set aside.
  • Assemble:
  • Place 2-3 spoons of the poached pears into a ramekin.
  • Pour some of the syrup as well.
  • Place some of the crystallised ginger into the ramekins.
  • Sprinkle the crumble over the ramekin, covering the fruit.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 180°C.
  • The tops must be crisp.
  • Remove from oven and carefully place on a plate to serve.
  • Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.