This crumble tastes irresistibly good as is, but if you like you can stir a pinch of cinnamon into a cup of full-fat or heavy sour cream and add a dollop of this mixture to each jar before serving. Wow!
FOR THE CRUMBLE
1-2 tsp vanilla sugar
2 heaped tsp cocoa powder (optional)
½ tsp cinnamon
1 pinch salt
50g cold butter, diced
FOR THE FRUIT MIXTURE
A little lemon juice
1 vanilla pod
300ml cherry or redcurrant juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp cornflour
250g mixed frozen berries to taste (e.g. blackberries, raspberries, redcurrants), defrosted
4 small glass jars
Icing sugar for dusting
• Peel, core and finely dice the pears. Combine with a little lemon juice to prevent them from browning. Slice the vanilla pod open lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a knife.
• Add the cherry or redcurrant juice to a saucepan together with the sugar, vanilla seeds and pod and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce a little. Whisk the cornflour with 1–2 tablespoons cold water until smooth. Add to the simmering liquid and keep stirring until thickened. Fold in the diced pears and berries. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave everything to cool. Remove the vanilla pod and cinnamon stick.
• Preheat the oven to 175°C. For the crumble topping, combine the flour with the sugar, vanilla sugar, cocoa powder to taste, cinnamon and salt. Add the chilled butter and rub in until the mixture holds together in crumbs.
• Fill the glass jars two thirds with the fruit mixture, then evenly fill the jars up with the crumble topping. Bake for 12–14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool until the crumbles are just warm. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
Recipe taken from New York Christmas by Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup (Murdoch Books, £20). Photography by Lisa Nieschlag and Julia Cawley.