That’s the way the crumble crumbles

A week after Labor Day, not only are sprinklers switched off in the playgrounds, and is the saying “No white after Labor Day” all over the place, but your local farmers market is also giving you a hint it’s the end of summer ( I hate to break the news ) and arrival of Indian summer ( to keep a positive mindset ). No more berries in the spotlights, apple and pear crates are taking over.

My advice : just go with the flow, and grab those, as they are always the best in season ! Let go of summer berries which will not be as tasty anymore anyway. I won’t blame you for keeping your white trousers though if they make you feel better.


  • Minimum 4 apples and 4 ripe pears. I like to overdose on fruits, so I usually play it be ear when it comes to quantity. Also fruits will reduce when baking and I like to get a generous layer of fruits and a much thinner layer of crumble on top.
  • 70g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 20g almond flour
  • 80g flour
  • 1 lemon juice
  • optional : cinnamon and pear eau-de-vie (liquor)



  1. Prepare the crumble dough : mix the sugar, almond flour, flour and butter with the tip of your fingers. The idea is to get little crumbs and not an homogeneous bulk of dough.
  2. Heat the oven 190 C / 370 F
  3. Peal the fruits, dice them in regular bits ( about 1 cm ) and mix with the lemon juice, and eau-de-vie if you’re using it. Here the recipe suggests to add 40g sugar, which I would remove because I think good pears and apples are already sweet enough.
  4. Place the fruits in an oven-safe dish and spread the crumble on top
  5. Bake for a small half hour, depending on the size of your dish. Check the color of the dough as an indication : it should become light brown. Switch off the oven and let the crumble become lukewarm.
  6. I find plain yogurt or vanilla ice-cream to be the perfect match for this dessert !


Easy variations 

  1. Play on the fruits : throw in strawberries ( the last ones ), or replace pears with peaches for instance. Follow your instincts, taste and the seasons to get the best fruits.
  2. Get naughty : add chocolate chips, especially with pears

This recipe comes from Tout Robuchon