Today, I took the dog for a walk. There was a fresh coat of snow from the day before, and so, the dirty grey snow left over from Christmas had been given a new lease of life. It was, once again, pristine and white, as though the land had been draped in a crisp white sheet, hiding the messy bed beneath.
During the warmer months, this path is alive with wildlife... birds darting in and out of the reeds, young rabbits nibbling lush green grass at the side, and butterflies twirling around the sky, as though they were taking part in an elaborate ballet... but, today, it was still and quiet. The only sound was the crunching of the snow underfoot... each footstep pushing the snow back to reveal the glassy ice beneath. I trudged along the path, pulled my hood tighter against me and buried my head into my scarf so that I could feel my warm breath against my skin.
As the wind blew, the dog braced herself against it, until I turned on my heal and declared, 'Come Bea, let's head home...,' to which she returned an almost grateful tail wag.
As I walked into our little home, the warmth of the house was greeted by the throbbing of my cold cheeks. I looked at the healthy snack of raspberries that I had left on the side, pre-walk, and decided that today was a crumble day... it's too cold for diets...
If you're wanting a little comfort food, give this delicious combination a try... you won't be disappointed.
Take care all and have a great Monday!
Pear & Raspberry Crumble
1 cup plain flour
1 1/4 stick of butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup of brown sugar
3 pears peeled and cut into slices
1 cup of raspberries (I used a small carton)
2 heaped tablespoons of vanilla sugar (granulated sugar if you don't have it)
honey for drizzling (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the pear slices and raspberries in an oven-proof dish or pie dish, sprinkle with the vanilla sugar and stir in with a spoon.
Sift the flour into a bowl, add the cubed butter and rub in with your fingers, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir the brown sugar into the flour mixture.
Spread the crumble mixture over the pears and raspberries. Don't pat down the mixture... you want it to stay airy. Drizzle the top with a little honey... this gives a chewy texture to your crumble top... it's not necessary, but I like it.
Place the crumble in the oven for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown on top and the fruit is bubbling at the sides.
Serve with either custard of vanilla ice-cream... both are delicious!
Note: I don't precook the pears, as with apple crumble, as they're usually softer already. If you're not able to get vanilla sugar, you can always try and make it. Sarah's blog here offers a tutorial on how to do this. It really does make a difference.