If you love desserts then you’re going to love my recipe for breakfast pear crumble and custard! It will change how you feel about breakfast forever and it’s so easy as it can all be made the day before and assembled in one minute. There’s something about dessert that no breakfast or main meal can ever fulfill ….. I mean how many times do you go to a restaurant and can’t finish your main course yet you can manage the entire dessert? We love savoury breakfasts in our household but it’s nice to go sweet once in a while. But where a pear crumble and custard dessert sounds like a forbidden treat my breakfast pear crumble and custard isn’t. That’s because it’s full of goodness and flavour where the pears are poached in delicate spices, the “crumble” is a delicious homemade granola and the “custard” isn’t custard at all but a delicious custard apple and yogurt topping. The idea came to me last year when shopping for fruits and I spied the custard apples. We had long been poaching pears for dessert and breakfast and sprinkling over our homemade granola but I felt it needed that je ne sais quoi. The topping really binds the whole dish together with vanilla, custard apple and yogurt… it provides the smooth to the crunchy just as the granola provides the crunchy to the smooth.
Custard apples, also known as cherimoya, take a bit of getting used to. They are a mix between a pear and an apple. Sometimes they can taste a little soggy which is why they are ideal for being made into a topping.They go from hard to ripe in less than 24 hours so any longer and they can be over ripe for eating but amazing as a topping. When ripe you should be able to split them open with your hands… although I still just cut them in half the easy way!
The skin is tough but the flesh has a soft, creamy texture . It is filled with black seeds which need to be discarded. It smells like vanilla and tastes like vanilla! In fact you feel like you are having dessert when eating the fruit.
The cherimoya comes from a sub-tropical fruit tree from the Annonacea family. The leaves of the tree have long been used to treat cancers and tumours in ancient times and the bark has been used in the production of herbal medicines. But we’ll just stick to it for making a healthy custard! And believe me it really DOES taste like custard!
Normally I wouldn’t eat a pear and a custard apple together as the textures are too similar but they taste soooo good in this way, especially with cinnamon granola. And this will definitely be a hit with your kids! No more boring breakfasts once you try this! And this can be made with any fruit of your choice and is also delicious with baked peaches, apricots or apples. My kids love baked fruit for breakfast and if we run out… well I’d better not say!
So to make this delicious breakfast pear crumble you can either make the granola first or poach the pears first. We normally have granola already made in our breakfast cupboard which makes it a lot easier. So make the granola by by mixing gluten free oats, all your seeds, nuts and spices in a large bowl. Melt your coconut oil and maple syrup and stir until well mixed.
Add this to your dry ingredients and turn the mixture out onto a lined baking tin and spread it out evenly. Bake in a preheated oven at 170˚C for 30 -40 minutes until golden stirring every 10 minutes to make sure it is evenly baked. Once baked you can store this in a container and add dried fruit and cocoa nibs when required.
I make the poaching juice before preparing the pears so they can be placed in it immediately before they start to oxidise. I love the spices in this recipe as they permeate through the pears while cooking so they give a hint of spice and not too overpowering. These spices all have antioxidant properties so are extremely good for a you and a perfect start to your busy day!
In a saucepan add the water, ginger, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamom. Heat until almost boiling and then turn to a low heat and add the honey. Stir until dissolved and turn off the heat while you prepare your pears. For this recipe you will need 6 ripe pears. If they are too soft then they can taste over cooked once poached. Peel the pears leaving the stalks on which makes them easier to remove from the liquid to prepare.
Add the pears immediately to the liquid and return to the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until tender. You want a knife to pierce the flesh easily but don’t want the pears to be soggy. I can just smell those spices right now!
Leave the pears in the poaching liquid to cool overnight. They may be left whole and sprinkled with the granola or sliced and arranged into a serving dish which is the way we prefer.
Now to make the delicious creamy custard topping. Prepare the custard apples by removing all the black seeds and slicing the flesh into bite-sized pieces. Place these into your nutribullet or blender along with natural yogurt or better still here’s my recipe for coconut dairy free yogurt. Add some vanilla seeds or my favourite organic vanilla bean paste. Whizz until smooth.
Now arrange the pears by slicing them first and then layer them at the bottom of your favourite oven-proof dish in a single layer.
Then layer with the granola.
You can choose whether to heat this before pouring over the custard. We like it mildly warm but it’s just as delicious straight from the fridge! Mmmm…. soft yet crunchy with a luxurious creamy delight. Breakfasts will never be the same again…
- 6 firm pears
- 800ml water
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cardamom pod
- 3 cloves
- 1/2 inch ginger
- 2-3 tablespoons honey
- 300g jumbo rolled oats
- 25g milled chia seeds
- 100g mixed seeds (hemp, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds)
- 100 g chopped nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, pecans)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 80ml coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 custard apples
- 200g natural yogurt or dairy free coconut yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Make the poaching liquid first. Place the water in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
- Add all the spices and heat gently.
- Add the honey, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat while you prepare the pears.
- Peel the pears and place in the poaching liquid. Heat until almost boiling and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the pears are tender but not overcooked. Leave to cool in the liquid overnight.
- To make the granola preheat your oven to 170˚C. Place the oats in a large bowl with the seeds, nuts and spices.
- Melt the coconut oil and maple syrup and stir until the syrup is dissolved. Add this to the oat mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Turn the mixture out onto a lined baking tray and place in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes mixing every 10 minutes to make sure it is golden brown throughout.
- To make the custard topping prepare the custard apples. Cut in half and discard the seeds.
- Place the flesh into a blender with the remaining ingredients. Whizz until blended. Store in the fridge until required.
- To serve, preheat the oven to 150˚C. Slice the pears and place at the bottom of an oven proof serving dish. Top with the granola and warm in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Serve with the custard topping.
- If the custard apple has a lot of seeds then scoop out the flesh together with the seeds. Place the flesh in a large holes sieve and press with the back of the teaspoon. This enables you to extract as much flesh from the seeds as possible.
- This can be served hot or cold.