quince, apple and pear crumble with whiskey and cinnamon

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quince, apple and pear crumble with whiskey

apples and pears

I add a twist to one of my all-time favourite desserts, a classic apple crumble, by adding poached quinces and pears.

Having recently fallen in love with quinces since I made my dense vanilla cake with poached quinces I have kept buying them this season. They need to be poached before you add them to the crumble with the apple and pears.

You can of course use just apples or a combo of apple and pear if quinces are unavailable.

What you will need to make this crumble:

First you poach the quince.

  • 1 medium quince, peeled, cored and chopped into large chunks
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split in half and seeds removed

Place all of the above ingredients into a pot and reserving the vanilla pod seeds for later use. Bring this to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes until the quince is softened. Drain and allow to cool. *This can be made in advance.

For the rest of the filling:

  • 2 large apples or 3 smallish ones (I love Pink Lady) – peeled, cored and cut up
  • 2 pears (I used Forelle)- peeled, cored and cut up
  • 3T whiskey (optional)
  • 2T treacle / dark sugar
  • 1t cinnamon

Crumble topping:

  • 1 cup of flour (about 130g)
  • 100g butter
  • 4T brown sugar

Cut up the apple and pear and cooled poached quince to roughly the same size. Large chunks work well here as you want the pie to have some texture. You should in total have about 5 cups of chopped up fruit. Toss this in a bowl with the vanilla seeds, whiskey, cinnamon and sugar.

To make the crumble either mix all the crumble ingredients by hand, or do as I prefer and briefly whizz in a food processor (so much easier), and then using your fingers clump the crumbs together a bit to make larger bits.

Empty the fruit mix into an appropriately sized baking dish or pie pan and spread the crumble mix evenly over the top.

Bake for 25 minutes at 180 C and until the top is golden brown.

Serve with cream, Mascarpone cheese, ice cream or custard.

The whiskey adds some depth but you don’t particularly taste it. It is entirely optional, but going forward I will never leave it out.

PS ~ If you didn’t know, baking is one of my biggest loves and I’m on a mission to find the ‘best-of’ recipes of my favourite baked goods. I have found a few already and I think this apple crumble is getting added to the list.

quince, apple and pear crumble with whiskey and cinnamon

quince, apple and pear crumble with whiskey

Some of my ‘best-of’ baking recipes:

my grandmothers crunchie recipe

vanilla cupcakes with buttercream and salted caramel

the ultimate chocolate cakes and my best ever choc frosting

the new york times chocolate chip cookie

the river cafe chocolate nemesis cakes

Happy baking!


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  1. Yummo. I have recently started adding ground ginger in crumble toppings, which is also sublime….Deffo going to try adding whisky in now too

  2. Hi Emma – I love the sound of the ginger. I think the whiskey adds something subtle – you don’t really detect it in an overpowering way.

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