Crumble, Crisp or Buckle: Fall Fruit Desserts

Saturday mornings are for visiting the farmers’ markets, and this time of year the stalls are overflowing with fall fruit: plums, apples, raspberries, grapes, and pears. I wanted to buy some of each!

I had promised dessert for a dinner with friends last night, so I did buy some pears along with my usual apples. Driving home, I reviewed what I could do with them, and settled on one of my favourites, a pear-and-ginger crumble. It’s so simple and tastes wonderful. Here’s the recipe, which uses oil rather than butter because of BD’s allergies; you can use butter, of course, if you want.

Pear-and-ginger Crumble

6 medium pears, peeled, cored, and sliced

1/2 cup dried cranberries

6 pieces candied/crystallized ginger, chopped into small pieces

1/2 c brown sugar

3/4 c oatmeal

3/4 c all-purpose whole wheat flour

1/2 c light oil – I use safflower, but sunflower or corn works too

1 tsp powdered ginger.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the sliced pears over the bottom of a 9″ square pan. Sprinkle the cranberries, chopped ginger, and 1/4 cup of brown sugar over the pears.  Add about 1/4 c water (unless the pears are very ripe) to provide moisture.

Mix the dry ingredients (including the other 1/4 cup of brown suger) with the 1/2 c oil and spread over the fruit.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Serve warm, with ice cream, cream or yogurt if you want.

Now, I call this a crumble; others might call it a crisp.  I also have a recipe for a fruit buckle, which is slightly different.

1/4 c light oil

1/4 c brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 c whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 c liquid – milk, buttermilk, or water all work

2 cups chopped fruit


1/4 c light oil

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1/3 c whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon, ginger, cloves or a mix

Preheat the oven to 350.  Mix together the first 1/4 c oil, sugar, egg and salt; add 1 c flour, baking soda, and liquid and mix well.  Spread in a 8 or 9 inch greased square pan; cover with the chopped fruit. Mix together the remaining ingredients, spread over the fruit.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. (This recipe is adapted from the Blueberry Buckle recipe in my beloved Harrowsmith Cookbook Volume 1. I don’t know why it’s called a ‘buckle’; the recipe originated in Nova Scotia, so it may be a regional term.)

Both of these are very simple to make and are adaptable to many fruits or combination of fruits. (I also like to think they are healthier than a pie, although I may be fooling myself with that thought!)

What are your favourite fall fruit desserts? Please share your recipes!

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