I’m not a baker. I love making raw treats. But as soon as dough is involved I have my difficulties. For a long time I even disliked baking cakes. Too much sugar, too much carbohydrates. But that’s a different story which I’ll tell you another time. A lot of things have changed since then. I’ve tried to improve my baking skills. It’s not that easy because vegan baking (and often gluten-free) is slightly challenging.
Like at this very moment, I’m on my second round of testing a vegan cinnamon roll recipe and the struggle is real. I have the feeling there will be many more rounds. It is in these moments that I treasure the simplicity of crumbles. The love for crumbles is real at our home. I love it because it’s so easy to make and absolutely nothing can go wrong. The boyfriend loves it because it’s kind of healthy and has lots of fresh fruit in it. You can also mix and match any kind of flavour and fruit, depending on the time of the year.
This Chai Spice Pear Crumble is a favorite. I always feel that pears are undervalued and don’t seem to have a chance against the popular apple. However if you buy it in season and fresh from the farmers market. Spice it up with a chai mixture. Top it of with crunchy oats and hazelnuts. And serve it warm with coconut cream. You’ll forget all about apples. Or it makes you long for more crumble variations. Like a vanilla apple plum crumble. Or a persimmon quince crumble. The options are endless. But let’s start with a Chai Spice Pear Crumble on a Sunday afternoon. A bowl of deliciously smelling crumble in one hand and soothing hot tea in the other.
Though I have a soft spot for peach and strawberry crumble, somehow crumbles taste best during the cold season. Just when the leaves start to turn yellow and rainy days predominate your weekends. That’s when crumble season starts. Without fail, a cold and dark autumn day makes me long for soul-warming food. And bubbling fruits under a golden crust hits all the right spots.
Chai Spice Pear Crumble (vegan + gluten-free)
- 2 large pears
- 1 apple
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tsp chai spice
- 1.5 cups/ 140 grams oats (optional: gluten-free)
- 2 tbsp whole wheat flour (or gluten-free rice flour)
- ¾ cups/110 grams hazelnuts
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (plus optional 2 tbsp of maple syrup)
- dash of salt
- Optional: cold and thick coconut cream for serving
- Spice Mix
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground clove
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp all spice (or freshly cracked black pepper)
- Spice Mix
- Mix all ingredients together in a small jar and set aside
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C
- Cut apple and pears in small (bite-sized) chunks
- In a mixing bowl combine apples, pears and lemon juice with 1 tsp of spice mix (optional: add 2 tbsp of maple syrup for extra sweetness
- In another bowl, combine oats, 3 tsp of spice mix, flour, salt and maple syrup
- Cut in the coconut oil and mix well
- Add fruit mixture either to one large baking dish or spread between 5 small ones
- Spread oats over the fruits
- Bake crumbles for 25 to 30 min or until top is golden brown and fruits are soft
- Let it cool down for a few minutes and serve it warm with coconut cream, vanilla ice cream or cashew cream