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Pear Crumbles with Chocolate Custard

These delicious individual crumbles are a different take on a pear and chocolate crumble.  The pears are poached whole, lying on a bed of chocolate custard with the crumble topping scattered over them, delicious decadent.

Makes 6 individual puddings

For the crumble topping:
50g whole meal self raising flour
100g rolled oats
75g cold butter, diced
25g demerara sugar
25g light muscovado sugar
50g roasted chopped hazelnuts
25g flaked almonds or chopped Brazil nuts
2 tbsp agave, maple or golden syrup (warmed so it’s runny)

For the pears:
250g caster sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
3 strips of paired orange zest
1 tsp vanilla paste or 1 vanilla pod (seeds scraped)
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 star anise
6 firm pears, peeled but kept intact with the stems attached

For the chocolate custard:
3 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
200g dark chocolate chips
300ml whole milk
300ml double cream

How to make pear crumbles with chocolate custard.. WASH YOUR HANDS

  1. Preheat the oven to 200oc/Gas 6 and put a shelf onto the centre runner. (AGA Roasting oven – shelf on oven floor).
  2. Make the topping: Put the flour and oats into a bowl, add the diced butter and rub this into the flour and oats to form big crumbs. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and mix together to form big lumps.
  3. Spread over a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Break it up with a wooden spoon and allow to cool as it will crisp up as it cools.
  4. To poach the pears: Put the sugar into a large saucepan with 1 litre of water, set this over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the rest of the ingredients then lower in the pears so they are covered. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until the pears are tender. Carefully remove the pears, set aside and keep warm.
  5. To make the custard: Mix the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl then add the chocolate chips. Heat the milk and cream in a pan over a medium heat until just about to boil. Pour the milk over the egg yolk mixture and stir until the chocolate melts. Transfer to a clean pan and set over a low heat, stirring continuously, until the custard thickens to coat the back of a spoon DO NOT LET IT BOIL. If it boils the mixture may split, if this happens plunge the pan into a sink of cold water and stir for up to 5 minutes to bring the mixture back.
  6. To serve: Place a pear upright in a bowl, pour in the warm chocolate custard and sprinkle over some of the topping, serve warm. (If the pear won’t stay upright cut a little off its bottom).