How to make an Apple and Pear Crumble

The humble crumble is a staple in many homes across Britain, Chris shows us how to make a tasty and low-sugar apple, pear and sultana crumble that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

If you'd like to see the ingredients or download a highly accessible version of this recipe, you can do that here.


Chris: Hello people I am Chris and I am a seven year stroke survivor. And I'm here with Alex from the Stroke Association.

Alex: Hi

Chris: And the crew to go through a recipe today for you. One that's been asked for and I've adapted for stroke survivors. I hope you enjoy what I cook for you today.

Now we're going to do a Pear, Apple and Sultana crumble and you'll see as I go maybe the differences to what sort of crumble you would make previously.

I am a skin-on-fruit man. One of the things while I was adapting recipes I asked other stroke survivors: do you peel an apple when you eat it at home or do you just wash it?

And 99% of people said never peel my fruit unless it's an orange. So I thought you know what I'll make my crumble with unpeeled fruit. And it helps hold that fruit together in the cooking process.

I don't like to pre-cook my fruit before I make my crumble. Many recipes have you chopping your fruit up, putting it into a pan with a little bit of sugar water just to part cook it down. And I've gone away from that and I take the sugar out completely and instead I use honey.

Now I'm going to make it in my go-to hot pot dish which is probably the best investment I ever made.

Now this is a six to eight portion crumble. It's a six portion if you're gutsy, it's a four portion if you're a real gutsy person.

So pears, apples, sultanas, honey and water to make the fruit mix. However, when we make a crumble we like to make the topping first.

This is non-slip matting which I can put onto my chopping board and I also have one under my chopping board to stop that moving around. And I've got pre-weighed 125 grams of plain flour in my bowl and as you can see my bowl is not going to slip while I'm mixing.

So for my crumble mix I've got 125 grams of flour and 100 grams of butter unsalted butter. Health wise try and use an olive oil based butter stroke spread. And I I kept this in the fridge because I don't want it to start getting too soft before it goes in the flour. I want to be able to crumble it.


Just get your butter, cut through and just cube it down.

Alex: And then you would just crumble it in I suppose with your fingers

Chris: And then you would crumble it into the flour with your fingers.

So I'm just going to use the tips of my fingers. And the warmth from your fingers will be enough to turn that into a light breadcrumb texture.

The warmth of your fingers will just help that crumble nicely until you get a rough breadcrumb type texture. Try to avoid having any large lumps left when you've done your crumbling.

Now a cook's technique for seeing if you got rid of all those large butter lumps. Just tap your bowl and look and see if any large lumps come to the top. And if they do just crumble them back down.

Alex: That's a good little tip that.

Chris: So once we've got our crumble topping, we have another ingredient that we all know goes into a crumble mix and that's 50 grams of Demerara sugar.

So we just want that to be added and mixed lightly into our mixture. Demerara is the best sugar to use. I have made it using muscovado but it gives it a lot darker texture. So Demerara is my go-to sugar.

Some people will look at a recipe and they'll find porridge oats are added. Chris likes to add a tablespoon of chopped nuts, in this case walnuts. You can use almonds or pistachios but I am Mr Walnuts. So I just wanna lightly chop those walnut pieces. You don't have to add this ingredient. For me, it adds texture and a bit of crunch, which is what I like in my food.

So I've lightly chopped my one tablespoon of walnuts and that is also going to go into my crumble topping.

Now I've got that all crumbled and as you can see I've got my breadcrumb mix for my topping. So Alex could you put that in the fridge for me?

Alex: Absolutely.

Chris: Thank you.

If you are, like me, a sufferer from fatigue and tiredness. You put your bowl in the fridge you can take a break because it doesn't matter how long that sits in there. It can sit in there for half an hour, an hour, whatever time you want to take a break before you go on to the next stage of making the crumble.


Now I want to show you my fruit filling.

My honey, one tablespoon of honey into my bowl please use the runny honey.

For my solution for my fruit I'm going to add four ounces of water. And into that I've pre-weighed 50 grams of sultanas and they can go in and just give that a little stir.

Another ingredient for this mix is ground cinnamon. I just want to add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to my mix, no more because I don't want the cinnamon totally overpower the flavour. So I'm adding a teaspoon, a level teaspoon of cinnamon to my liquid mix. No more.

And then just quickly go back and give that another mix.

And then I can set the bowl aside so that I can prepare my fruits. So to this mix I'm gonna prepare and chop two apples.

Flat surface safety, so I've got my flat surface and I want my apple to be quartered. And you'll see I'm using Gala apples rather than cooking apples. I just want to take the core of the apple away.

Some of you may have an apple corer at home.

Alex: Chris, is it difficult to get the core out of the apple just like you're doing now?

Chris: It is something that takes practice and because you're pulling the pairing knife towards you you've got to be very very careful and slow. Which is why if you've got an apple corer, maybe sit the apple on the work surface and pre-core it before you quarter it.

I would like to get even sizes. Once you've got your apple prepared, just add it to your your solution. And your honey solution will help stop the fruit discolouring.


So my apples and sultanas are in there now I need to just prepare my pears.

So that's my fruit mix ready to rock and roll. So I'm just going to give that another little stir. And I will repeat I've got my skins on and that will help hold the fruit together as it cooks and I won't end up with a pure puree in the bottom of my crumble.

And as well as getting part of your five a day from your fruit, you're getting a nice bit of roughage from the skins.

For an eight portion crumble I'm gonna use it's a roughly two inch high hot pot dish to that I'm gonna add my fruit mix.

Now please don't press it down so as it's too compact. Just use your spoon and move it to get an even layer.

At this stage you would want to preheat your oven, because you don't want your crumble going into a cold oven because you don't want to melt the butter and it all congeal on top so you need a preheated oven.


I'm going to ask Alex to get the crumble mix from the fridge so we can top off our fruit mix ready for the oven.

Thank you Alex so so we just want an even layer and we're just gonna pull to the side with our fingers.

And that's ready to rock and roll and go into our oven.

Now your crumble can be served with custard, cream. If you're a member of my family custard and cream!

My healthy option which I found that I really enjoy is I like my crumble served with natural yoghurt. And it's delicious.

Check your crumble at 35 minutes and look for the colouration on top.

And as I pull it out you will see the juices bubbling around the side so I've checked and I've got a perfect crumble ready to rock and roll.

Cut down the middle, exactly the same middle lengthwise. And that gives me my eight portion crumble.

Spatula is going to go under the fruit and lift out a single portion and you will see how well that fruit is held together and into my bowl. Alex is going to do an official taste test for me and if she tells me it's horrible I'm gonna cry.

Alex: Not gonna happen.

Chris: So nice bit of custard, be generous. And for you Alex.

Alex: Lovely.


Chris: Come on Alex, have a taste of this, see what you think.

Alex: Gladly.

Chris: Is that a winner?

Alex: That's really good.

Chris: So that is our pear, apple and sultana crumble recipe complete.

Please like and comment on the video and subscribe to our channel. If there are any other items you'd like to see, please just mention it in the comments bar.

Thank you very much for watching.