For the past 5-6 months, I’ve been getting a biweekly produce “box” from my favourite local Prince George grocery and cafe, Home Sweet Home. It’s been a fun experience – every time I go to pick it up, I wonder what delights will be in side. There are always some staples – things like potatoes, carrots, or onions. But there is also always something interesting to look forward too, whether it’s fruit, greens, sprouts, or even a tasty chocolate treat! I like that it forces me to cook with items that wouldn’t normally end up on my shopping list. And it forces me to find creative with items that aren’t actually my favourite things to eat.
One of those foods are pears. You may remember I spoke to this back when I made some delicious pear butter (also from my produce box offerings). Of course, one can only eat so much pear butter, so I needed to find another tasty way to use up the pears that lurked in the produce drawer. I decided to make pear crumble for dessert one night. With spring approaching, I wasn’t looking for those classic fall flavours to pair with my pears. I wanted something bright – which is where the Meyer lemons came in.
If you’ve never cooked with Meyer lemons, you’ve got to give them a try. They are a little more mellow on the acidity than a normal lemon, and have a very fragrant, almost floral note. They add a different dimension to whatever you cook – something that makes your taste buds stand up and take note. I wasn’t sure how they would work in a crumble with pears, but they turned out awesome! It was the perfect way to transition a more fall/winter fruit to the warmer months of spring – the floral lemon flavour really was key. And the pears had a nice texture in the crumble, which is always my stumbling point with them. A definite winner in our house!
Meyer Lemon Pear Crumble
makes 4 individual crumbles
Fragrant Meyer lemon combines with crisp, sweet pears and hearty oats to make this rustic crumble. Not only does it make a great dessert, but is also tasty for breakfast the next morning.
- 4-5 ripe pears, cored and chopped
- zest and juice of 2 Meyer lemons
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 3/4 cup large flake oats
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 4 individual ramekins on a baking sheet.
2. In a large bowl, combine pears, lemon zest and juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Divide evenly between ramekins. It’s okay if they seem overly full – the pears will cook down.
3. In a small bowl, combine the oats, coconut, butter, sugar, and salt until it forms a crumble. Divide evenly over the top of each of the ramekins, packing it down so it stays put.
4. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until crumbles are bubbling and the topping is golden brown. If the topping seems to be cooking too fast, cover with tin foil 20 minutes into cooking time.
Note: Bartlett pears are a great choice, but use whatever is available or in season. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, you can use regular lemons as well.
Have you tried Meyer lemons? What’s your favourite way to use them?