chocolate oat crumble

I have learned over the years that people have strong opinions about the combination of chocolate and fruit. I don’t judge, I mean, I have strong opinions about pretty much everything, such as the combination of pumpkin and chocolate (no), sea salt-flecked cookie lids (delicious but ftlog, only with a light hand), syrup on pancakes (only if the pancakes aren’t sweet), and how many episodes in a row it’s acceptable to consume of city.ballet. when you’re sick for the fourth day in a row (all of them, what kind of question is that?). What I’m saying is, pretty much the only thing I don’t have rigid views on is the combination of chocolate and fruit.

what you'll need

And yet, when my mother spotted this recipe in the newest and (in my not unbiased opinion — I blurbed it) most charming book from Nigel Slater I said, as articulately as ever, “I dunno, wouldn’t it be kind of weird?” Which is when I realized that I might I have an overly segregationist view of fruit crumbles. To me, they’re a very specific thing, fruit recently plucked from a tree or vine, mixed with sugar, spices if desired, flour or cornstarch to thicken and topped with a crumbly mix of flour, butter, sugar, oats and sometimes nuts. A butter-free, flour-free topping? A buttery almost caramel sauce-d base? Chunks of chocolate?

oats, chocolate, maple syrup, salt

cooked in a light caramel
chocolate oat crumble

Forget all that: Let’s put chocolate in all of our fruit crumbles. Let’s put chocolate in everything. Seriously, can we talk about how good this was with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream slumping all over it? The melty chocolate chunks? The almost brittle-crisp oats? The otherwise mediocre grocery store winter fruit pickings, raised to their highest calling? It was simple, rustic, and easy, as ideal as a weeknight treat as it would be a date night dessert. I think you know what needs to be done.

chocolate oat raspberry pear crumble

More about the book: Seeing as I’ve told you I was so charmed by Nigel Slater’s Eat book when I previewed it — and long before I knew it would be as pretty (small trim size, with a sunshiny woven cover) in print as it turned out to be — it only makes sense to tell you why. This “little book of fast food” is perfect for people who find strict adherence to recipes persnickety when they’re really looking for some fresh ideas for simple meals. Few recipes have over 8 ingredients, and they’re written in sentence format. And not only does everything in it remind me how simple it would be to actually throw dinner together tonight when I was otherwise planning a Delivery Pizza Succumb, I adore the slight British-ness of everything: Sausage Balls with Mustard Cream, Bacon and Beans, Spiced Mushrooms on Naan, Root Vegetable Tangle, and (sigh) Mango and Passion Fruit Mess. That said, while there are many vegetarian dishes, the majority have meat or fish in them, so it may not be for everyone.

this book is really darling

One year ago: Chocolate-Hazelnut Linzer Hearts (Yesterday was World Nutella Day. These are worth the belated celebration.)
Two years ago: Egg Salad with Pickled Celery and Coarse Dijon (please someone make this for me for lunch?)
Three years ago: Lasagna Bolognese
Four years ago: Meatball Subs with Caramelized Onions
Five years ago: Best Cocoa Brownies and Chana Masala
Six years ago: Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes
Seven years ago: Matzo Ball Soup
Eight years ago: Asparagus, Artichoke and Shiitake Risotto

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Cold Noodles with Miso, Lime and Ginger
1.5 Years Ago: Burst Tomato Galette with Corn and Zucchini
2.5 Years Ago: Charred Pepper Steak Sauce
3.5 Years Ago: Tomato Salad with Crushed Croutons

Chocolate Oat Crumble
Adapted from the version in Nigel Slater’s Eat, and a few others

Like many Slater recipes, there’s no need to be overly rigid in following it. I found three other versions of his chocolate-oat crisp online and none remotely matched. Some call for apricot, and cook it in elderflower syrup. Some have a more floury topping. I chose my favorite elements of each and mashed them up here. Feel free to tweak to your tastebuds’ content (maybe some crystallized ginger in the lid?), with whatever fruit or sweeteners or cooking fats you’d prefer. Just don’t forget to eat it while it’s still warm, and the chocolate is melty.

Note: This is a sloshy crumble, because there’s no thickener in the base. We loved the fruit syrup over ice cream, but you can easily stir 1 to 2 tablespoons cornstarch before baking it to give it more body.

Serves 3, maybe 4 if with ice cream

1/3 cup (40 grams or 1 1/2 ounces) chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup (50 grams) rolled oats
1/4 cup maple syrup
Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons (40 grams) butter
3 tablespoons (40 grams) sugar
2 pears, peeled, halved, cored and diced into small chunks (I used firm D’Anjous; cooking times for other varieties will vary)
1 cup (115 grams or 4 ounces) raspberries

Heat oven to 350°F(180°C).

In a small dish, combine chocolate, oats, maple syrup and salt and set aside. In a small/medium ovenproof skillet (mine was 8-inch/1-quart), melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar and cook together, stirring, until it becomes golden at the edges. Add pear chunks and cook in this caramel-y syrup for 5 to 8 minutes, until slightly softened or half-cooked. (Bosc pears always take longer for me; ripe Bartletts, less.) Scatter raspberries over top. Sprinkle with chocolate-oat mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until fruit is soft and the oats crisp.

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125 comments on chocolate oat crumble

  1. I was wondering about two things. Given how long you’ve been blogging, do you ever make something only to realize you’ve made something really similar before?

    Also, do your friends or family slowly become your strongest critics after years of tasting good food? Do they push you for more or better, or are they always positive? Just curious how things have evolved for you. I know now my husband has and will always be my strongest critic but that pushes me to always do better and not accept “just good”.

  2. Sarah L

    I love the idea of the simple variable recipes! I’ve been doing a lot of cooking like that recently, reading recipes and then just cooking them how I remember it, so I think that book will be for me! Thanks for the tip :)

  3. deb

    Shaina — Absolutely. Any fruit you don’t mind with chocolate.

    Rebecca — Great questions! 1. Definitely. For example, I just realize this is the third (no, fourth!) time on the site I’ve combined pear and chocolate chunks, in a cake, in scones, in a muffin and now here. But, I’m okay with it because they’re differently treated, in different items. I do have my pet flavor combos though, clearly. It’s MORE of an issue as I work on my next cookbook, where I want very little overlap with things covered on the site unless they’re going to be markedly improved or changed. Sometimes I’ll be so excited about a book recipe, only to remember I already did a shakshuka egg sandwich or the like. There are over 900 recipes on this site, though, so it’s bound to happen; but I do like to be certain that I’ve differentiated a new recipe with the idea is already out there. — 2. Actually, no. Well, Jacob is 5 and basically likes anything with chocolate or ice cream, so I’m not actually getting complex, nuanced reviews from him. And Alex just cheers on everything. I mean, he might, when pressed, suggest something is a little soft or needs more salt, but whenever I ask him if I should make something, the answer is always “yes, please.” Unless it’s tofu, and then it’s “if you must.”

    1. deb

      Definitely use frozen rather than shelling out $6. I should confess that a Westside Market (small awesome NYC grocery chain) just opened in my neighborhood and they’re often beckoning me from the street with 2 or 3 for $5 (!) raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. So, we have some inventory in the fridge, usually. Trader Joe’s often has them for $3 or double ones for $6, too.

  4. Katrin

    And here I thought this was a one recipe week… :D ps. Love that you’re putting up recipes for the other side of the world too :) I’ve actually made peace with having cravings totally out of sync with the weather, but this is reminding me of all the good recipes that are actually suitable for the season

  5. ESullins

    I’m a little gun-shy after trying the pear and chocolate cake from the early days of Smitten Kitchen, which turned out weird and eggy when I made it. This sounds loads better though – must try!

  6. Monica

    Thanks for this recipe. I love Nigel Slater and have a few of his books, but it’s still easy to miss great recipes.

    I made a pear crumble last week and studded chocolate chunks in the filling before topping with a classic crumble mix with added toasted pecans. It was awesome. I thought I had invented a new thing, but no matter.

    I think double pear and chocolate crumble will be happening this weekend!

  7. Jess

    I can’t help but ask – have you ever tried his caramelised pear and chocolate crumble? It has a more conventional topping, with chocolate and just a few spoonfuls of oats mixed in, and it’s just… well, you can imagine.

  8. Nancy in Vancouver

    May I just say that I just received your first cookbook (I knooooowwwww! Don’t my people read my mind already?!) and have 1) read it cover to cover in 72 hours, 2) distinctly came away feeling happy and satisfied after being an avid reader for 3 years w/ your NEW recipes (when did your 1st cookbook come out? Srsly) and 3) in reflection of Rebecca’s earlier questions, I feel like if your new book overlapped with some of your trends, recipes and favorites on the website, that would be TOTALLY FINE! I mean, I know you have so much in-put on your new book, but I just wanted to cheer you on and say that if there were recipes that resembled ones already on this site, I’d be psyched, not sad, because now I have a SK favorite in book form and now it is PERMANENT (have we proven digital life is permanent? I’m not sure) and I can bring it into the kitchen with me and spill stuff on it! TL;DR YAY! Good luck on 2nd book writing! It’ll be great!!! And I won’t wait so long for it this time…

  9. Wife To An Amazing Cook

    Deb!!! city.ballet. OMG – I’m beyond hooked. I’m not sure if I should thank you or curse you. :)

    And I’ll be giving this recipe a go this weekend – I’ve got pears on my counter just waiting to be sacrificed in the name of chocolate. And since this has oats and no refined sugar, it’s definitely Sunday breakfast material (mmmm, with a scoop of plain yogurt….. Can’t wait!).

  10. Kristie

    This looks amazing! I’m all about chocolate on just about anything :) I’m going to make this for my church small group on monday!

  11. I literally said, with a firm, punctuating head turn, “Oh, girl” when I saw the picture of ingredients for this recipe. When I didn’t see any tart stuff that would interfere with the richness of the chocolate, but instead spunky raspberries and sweet pears that make chocolate dance, I vowed to make this. It looks delicious!

  12. Susan

    I can see pears with chocolate, but I wish you would do a “brown betty”. I’m tired of oat filled crumbles (have made so many this winter so far) so the humble bread crumb or cubes would be a nice change. Maybe use your chocolate babka, cubed and crisped over pears? (that just came to me, I have no idea how to make it work) Sorry for whining but…

  13. Sara

    I love Nigel Slater. I am an expat in the UK and found your book when looking for a book of his! Can you tell me what kind of Staub pan you used for this recipe? Size, cover, etc.

  14. jag

    I was just thinking that I needed something sweet tonight. I have a can of tart cherries, and now I’m inspired to make chocolate-oat-covered cherry crumble!

  15. This looks so good! I love crisps. I have an breakfast oatmeal bake recipe that includes fruit, nuts, and chocolate, so I imagine a dessert version would be even better!

  16. Lauren

    Two YEARS have elapsed since the heavenly, life changing, egg salad?? That means I must have eaten over 300 eggs!! AAGH! Would rather have high cholesterol than live without this though… anyone who still hasn’t tried it, shame on you. It is fabulous, easy, and you will never again make it any other way. I am going to go boil 4 eggs now… thanks for the reminder!

  17. deb

    Susan — I have done miniature strawberry brown butter brown bettys. :)

    Sara — It’s this one, in black. I guess it’s 7.5-inch across; I measured wrong. No lid, really just a gratin dish. It can be used on the stove as well.

    Nancy — Thank you. I wouldn’t, say, not put a scone recipe in the book because I have several on the site, but I’d like them to be different. I like to challenge myself, plus, I want the book to be a worthwhile purchase, even if you already read the site for free. :)

    Jess — No, but it sounds a great kin to this! I’ve been playing with caramelized pears for a next cookbook recipe and whoa, yes, they’re amazing.

  18. Lori

    But with chocolate in it, how can I eat for breakfast while saying to my protesting husband, “but it’s just fruit and oatmeal!”?

  19. I could die for a good apple crumble but your version just looks so delicious I might even skip my go-to recipe in favor of yours (well, you can’t beat chocolate, especially not when it comes in combination with rasberries).

  20. Janelle

    i immediately clicked on the city.ballet link and watched three episodes before finishing your blog post. instantly so hooked on it! thanks/nothanks

  21. dinner party next week and I’ve been asked to bring a dessert that is gluten and dairy free (what?!) with this in mind, I actually think I could make this work. Gluten free oats, dairy free dark chocolate.. but the butter. Should I sub vegan margarine or coconut oil? Anyone had success with either? would love to hear from you!

  22. Bayar

    Deb, where is the plant pot (white with red rim) from? It’s a picture of your kitchen window in the book. I love it and have been searching!

  23. Lynne

    Can’t wait to give this recipe a try this weekend! And can I just say that I’m so happy to learn I’m not alone in my city.ballet obsession?! If I lived in NYC I’d be at Lincoln Centre every week. Sara Mearns is such a favourite of mine. Anyway :)

  24. I live in the U.K and Nigel Slater writes a column in our Sunday newspaper, it’s the first thing I look at…love his writing and television programmes.

  25. Janet Highland

    Great to see that Nigel Slater is appreciated across the pond. I adore him and he has done some great TV programmes here in the UK. I always find that any recipe of his I cook turns out wonderful – bit like the ones I do from you !!!! xx

  26. Lisa

    There’s a chocolate oat crumble from an Aussie cookbook that has been our go-to forever. I even take it to charcoal bake in my cast-iron Dutch oven when we car camp, with canned peaches and my own frozen cherries. But the addition of syrup from our own sugar bush might just put this over the top! (I even have a variation with cocoa that double chocolates it, and it works – needs brown sugar, though)

  27. Carole

    I don’t have an ovenproof skillet (I know, I know, but most of my cookware is still in the States and such a thing would be really dear here in Iceland) Would stovetop sautéing, then a glass pie plate in the oven work or would I need to change the cooking time?

  28. Adrienne K

    I have a thing with chocolate and fruit… I love it with orange and also with cherries, and maybe bananas if I’m in the mood, but that’s it…..

  29. Sally

    Looks great! Can’t wait to try. But, what have you done to me? I didn’t know City.Ballet existed. Now, alas, I do. One more addition to my pod addiction. Sigh. Oh, alright…happy SIGH.

  30. nbm

    Karen #48, regular (old-fashioned) rolled oats. Look at the ingredients pictures, you can confirm for yourself — the jar is labeled.

  31. Janice

    So- breakfast! Or brunch!- with my pears preserved with vanilla and rum…we like options for our Sunday morning libations…always served with something delicious, often from our favorite Smitten Kitchen. Thank you!

  32. MaryM

    Pat W. #46 – I think peaches would be lovely, but would not require as much cooking time. Thanks for mentioning that; as a southern girl I love all things peach.

  33. Elizabeth Meadows

    New book!??
    Yay! Love the first one so much, so I’m just here to drop a line of encouragement, as I know how hard the writing can be.
    And also I’ll be making this soon!

  34. Melissa

    I love fruit desserts. In fact, I have a cookbook called, “Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crmbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More” by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson that I wonder if anyone has used? May I recommend it? It’s quite lovely and divides the recipes by season. There’s even an upside-down pear chocolate cake recipe on page 102. But I haven’t tried it yet. I do like raspberries and chocolate and so I’m keen to try this recipe. I was also thinking of a cookie with that combo. Maybe a thumbprint? I appreciate your nod to Valentine’s Day, Debbie.

  35. I may have just spent 20 mins watching city. ballet. Chocolate goes well with errrrrything in my opinion. I cannot wait to make this. Also, clicked on your salted caramel brownies from a few years ago- totally going to make that, too! The salted caramel oozing out of the brownies…*pause to wipe the drool from mouth*…need I say more?

  36. lorie

    Maybe this is much harder than it seems, but is there a way you can earmark recipes on your site as gluten free? I always try to locate gluten free desserts when a celiac friend comes to dinner. Adding “(gf)” after the title of a recipe is not too glamorous-looking but it would sure make searching a breeze! This looks like a great one. Can’t wait to try it.

  37. Joann

    Crown maple syrup from Madava Farm?!? You go girl!!! Unbelievably delicious local maple syrup!! Right? Have you gone on the tasting tour? OMG!!!! Your recipes are yummy! And I have veganized many of them without any flavor compromise! (Even the decadent hot cocoa!!!). Thanks for continued inspiration!

  38. Jordan

    Love the book! Just made the marmalade drumsticks the other night. His recipes are perfect for me since I think I have a pathological inability to follow any recipe in its entirety. What are these “cookie lids” that you speak of?

  39. Carrie

    I can’t wait to make this. Note: You can also tag this as a GLUTEN FREE recipe. Anyone with gluten intolerance will know to use gluten-free oats.

  40. Anne

    Deb–if you don’t like maple syrup, what might you substitute? I love oats and have avoided so many crumble/granola/crunch recipes because I just lack the imagination to substitute. I don’t love honey, either…I know, I’m so picky.

  41. Shannon

    Thank you for your fabulous food musings. I not only enjoy your recipes (I even manage to make one every once in a while!), I also enjoy the story behind the food! Thank you!

  42. Karen Hilinski

    Okay, so I just made this – kinda adding a little extra of everything since I had 6 ounces of raspberries. While cooking the fruit there was way too much juice, nothing that would have cooked down in the oven so when it was almost done on the stove, I added a couple of tablespoons of flour and let that come to a boil – to get that nasty flour taste out. I’m a bit concerned that I added too much flour as the juices got really thick but watching it in the oven, I have bubbling juices so I may be alright. We’ll see.

  43. Deborah

    I love crisps/crumbles, but I tried making an oat topping for one a couple of weeks ago and was disappointed by the texture. Your topping here looks similar, although I added oil to the oats, and didn’t add chocolate (foolish me!). Even though it browned nicely, my topping turned out chewy rather than crisp. Any thoughts as to why? Could the addition of oil have been the problem? I also didn’t serve it immediately after baking, so maybe the oats sucked up the moisture from the fruit while it sat?

  44. Tiny Twinkletoes

    See now, this is the perfect kind of recipe for me – because oats are healthy (or supposed to be – it depends really on what the media want to deem healthy on any given day) and so is fruit. So one can justify the addition of chocolate, and this is one of those “adapt to personal taste as necessary” recipes, making the amount of chocolate *totally* justifiable – even leaning toward the category of “chocolate comes from a bean” so more is better. Grain, fruit, veg or legume. Hey, what could be healthier? Many thanks!

  45. It’s been a long time since I commented here, but how could I not when you post something like a chocolate crumble? This looks superb (I trust in Nigel’s brilliance and happen to love fruit and chocolate together) and has officially made it onto the short list of Valentine’s Day dessert contenders. Thank you!

  46. That looks absolutely amazing, why have I never had a fruit crumble with chocolate in it before? I tend to put chocolate in everything else, to the point of overkill really! I love the sound of that cookbook – ideas of what to make and easy to change things up – that’s perfect! Definitely going to be looking for that one. Heck, I even love the title of it!

  47. Tim in Manitoba

    loved this post Deb, thank you. Fruit crumble is one of my favourite desserts, especially in early Spring when the rhubarb is up! I can usually find a bag or two of cranberries in the back of the freezer and, voila, a tart, tangy, simply delicious end to any meal. I made one of these for a late dinner one summer night a couple of year’s ago. Dinner was in the gazeebo with our best friends. I made the crumble in a cast iron fry pan. While it was still nicely warm I topped it with a couple of giant scoops of vanilla ice cream, grabbed four spoons and a potholder and plopped it onto the table. So much fun …

  48. Deb, I too would have fussed at the idea of chocolate in a crumble (although why, I don’t know, I’ll take chocolate in just about anything else), but this is genius, especially for winter. I’m you’ve seen “Toast,” which was my introduction to Nigel Slater, but if you haven’t, it’s wonderful (and Helena Bonham Carter is hilariously nasty).

  49. Pam Comer

    Greetings from UK
    Tried this recipe today for our Sunday Lunch-great.
    Thumbs up from my family & guests.
    I used Bramley apples-which can be a bit on the ‘tart’ side so chocolate goes well with them.
    Served with whipped cream

  50. Rani

    Deb, with the topping do you just combine the ingredients in a bowl? I can just see reference to the ‘chocolate oat topping’…?
    Many thanks for the city ballet tip, home sick today, will be getting onto that!!

  51. Lizzy

    This just in: blackberries work perfectly here! My greengrocer was out of raspberries so I did pears and blackberries. Way way way good.

  52. Stephanie

    Would there be any downside to using a glass baking pan or pie plate? I’d like to triple the recipe for a party, and don’t have enough oven-proof skillets to use.

  53. Gillian S

    Recipe looks delicious, but as fruit generally can be acidic is it ok to use un-enameled (not sure if that’s ‘proper English’) cast iron pans? I’ve read, for instance, that tomatoes should be cooked in non-reactive pans. Can anyone clarify?

  54. Donna

    Bon….this takes “Poire Belle Helene” to another…far superior level!!! “Deconstructed”…yet constructed with obvious care, talent and love!

    Thank you, once again…from a fervid fan/follower from France.

  55. deb

    Rani — Whoa, how did my first recipe sentence get chopped and how are you the first to notice? Regardless, yes, a direction is missing. You’re going to mix the topping ingredients in a small bowl and set them aside until you’re done preparing the fruit. Updated now. Thanks for the heads up.

    Gillian — Most people will tell you it’s best not to cook fruit and acidic ingredients in uncoated cast iron, and they’re correct, but if you’ve got a good seasoning on yours, one dish isn’t going to ruin it. That said, I was using cast iron, but enameled, so my pan was protected. (Staub enamels in black, to make things extra confusing.)

    Stephanie — You can use glass, but bake it at 25 degrees less.

    Carole — Yes, that would be just fine, and as I said to Stephanie, it’s best when baking in glass to use the oven at 25 degrees less.

    Deborah — It would be hard to know without seeing the recipe. I don’t think oil would be a good addition, though. This one is quite crisp. It’s also not traditional; it tastes more like an oat brittle on top.

    Anne — I’d use golden syrup, if you can find it. And for you, since you don’t like maple or honey, you should seek it out. It’s wonderful, tastes faintly of toasted sugar.

    Jordan — I just meant the tops of cookies.

    lorie — You can see them all here in a list. I can make a Pinterest board of all the gluten-free recipes, if that helps. (I don’t usually tag salads and soups, however, because they’re 99.9% gluten-free.)

    Melissa — I have that book! Now I need to find it and make that cake, it sounds wonderful.

    Karen — Old-fashioned oats are best here. He actually calls for “jumbo oats” here, something we don’t sell labeled as such here but I figured were pretty close to the ones I have from Bob’s Red Mill, which are particularly thick and crunchy.

    city.ballet. — I actually owe Cup of Jo a belated hat tip for that. She posted about it a few months ago and I wasn’t sick and I still blew off almost a whole afternoon watching it. I’m not sorry and you shouldn’t be either. :)

    Bayar — I think it was from Home Depot? It’s long since gone… the jade plants I’d had for 5 and 8 years respectively died two years ago and then I got rid of my oxalis when Jacob was wee and my mother scared me about how poisonous it was, DETAILS.

  56. BCE

    I made this on Sunday when I had 2 Californians and a Floridian at my table in snow covered Cambridge MA. I doubled it and used pears, apples and frozen Trader Joes cherries. Baked it in a Pyrex 9×13. Came out delicious and enjoyed by all especially my husband and I who have been shoveling and snow blowing over 5 feet of snow!

  57. Kristin

    This evening I made ice cream, this crumble, did the dishes and still had time to browse more SK recipes as I waited for my tardy husband to make his 45-minute commute home. I thought it would be easy and good, but it was in fact Absolutely Delicious and Enjoyed Immensely By All. Thank you. And I’m going to Google that little Eat book right now.

  58. Dorothy

    Yeah this pretty much rocked. I think what I liked so much about it was that it was so EASY and had typical stuff you’d have in a pantry and could throw together last minute without too much measuring and reading and recipe-checking.

    Thank you!!

  59. Cindy

    This was the perfect end to a wonderful Valentine’s Day dinner! I made the recipe exactly as written, with bosc pears and frozen raspberries, and my husband (who doesn’t always like fruit desserts) loved it! I added 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch as you suggested Deb, since we were having it with whipped cream sweetened with maple syrup, instead of ice cream. Such a quick and easy dessert, and so delicious. And it was great slightly warm since the chocolate was still melted. And congratulations on the upcoming new baby!!!!!

    1. deb

      Tawni — I used Guittard, which is definitely one of my favorites. It’s very high quality but not priced like the Callebauts and Valrhonas. I used buy 1-pound boxes of their baking discs (like larger, flatter chocolate chips, great for melting) for $10. Sometimes I’ll splurge on Valrhona, anyway, but mostly because you can get a lot of mileage out of a 1kg investment.

  60. Amy

    I think I may have overcooked? It came out like chocolate soup. I think it’s still going to be delicious. Stiill cooling it off for my daughter to eat for breakfast. She is so excited to have chocolate for breakfast!

  61. Kelsey

    If I don’t have time to make this in the morning, could I do it the night before and just re-heat? Or would that make it soggy…

    It sounds really good with blackberries too! :)

  62. Liz

    Wow! I was skeptical about the topping because it’s so different from the crumble recipes I’m used to, but I loved the crunchiness! Yes, like oat brittle. I added some flour (couldn’t help myself) and reduced the syrup (probably, I didn’t actually measure), and it was fabulous (though it probably would have been at least as great if I followed the recipe closer). And frozen blackberries from summer-picking worked out great instead of raspberries! I’m not a fruit and chocolate person, except when it comes to pears (and blackberries, apparently)!

  63. Joanna

    I too did pears and blackberries and it is so delicious. My oat topping did not come out crunchy, I am not sure why? But it still tastes great. I actually doubled the recipe and did it in a large oven safe skillet I recently got as a gift (probably could have tripled). I subbed in a little honey for some of the syrup and did add a little cornstarch, probably a tablespoon, cause I like thickened fruit. Also I used semi sweet chocolate chips. Warmed up in the microwave the chocolate gets all melty again….yum

    Being a doc I can’t resist adding two cents about the oats and gluten issue. Pure oats are gluten free. Patients with celiac disease who really need to avoid ALL TRACES of gluten need to be careful because (apparently) many brands contaminate the oats with wheat during harvesting and processing. This is why there are brands that advertise ‘gluten free’ – they are sure not to be contaminated. If your issue is not celiac disease but more of a gluten intolerance, the contamination with such small amounts of wheat probably won’t cause you any problems. Hope that’s helpful?

    1. deb

      Cecile — Oats do not contain gluten. I’m surprised there is so much misinformation on this. Here is the University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center on it. There are hundreds of other reliable sources saying the same on the web alone. The concern you might hear about oats is of cross-contamination, that they are often packaged in facilities that also make cereals with gluten. This does not mean that they contain it, just that if you have a particularly sensitive strain of Celiac, you’ll want to only buy oats that are labeled gluten-free (as in, were not packaged in a gluten-containing facility).

  64. Deb, why doesn’t the crisps/crumbles section get its own space on the recipes page? I happily but accidentally stumbled upon the crisps/crumbles archive while experiencing an acute crisp/crumble craving, but I myself prefer to read through the concise list of recipes in a given category rather than browse through pages of archived posts in a category. Also, I had the hardest time finding the spaghetti pangrattato recipe the other day bc it’s not in the “pasta” category! (I also couldn’t remember the name so couldn’t search for it). Sorry, I’m sure going through the archives and rearranging/adding tags is about as fun as doing your taxes.

    1. deb

      Molly — It really needs one! Will fix ASAP. Thanks for the tip. [Update: Here it is! I actually had the category — I had a feeling! — but it was only half-populated and not set up to show on the Recipes page. Anyway, hope everything is there now. And thanks for letting me know.]

  65. Lori

    I wondered if you would make a recommendation for cookware. I see that this is staub – is it the 2.75 braiser? Also do you have a suggestion for 3 everyday pieces?

  66. deb

    Hi Lori — This is I think the 6 or 7-inch round baking dish — small! The braiser is excellent; I think mine is 4 quarts and I use it way more than I’d ever expected to. I consider the 5-quart cocotte my go-to. I also really love the oval roasting dish that holds about 2 quarts; we use it almost daily for vegetables. These are all investments! I bought them slowly over many years. :)

  67. Beth

    I made this today with some pears off my friend’s pear tree and some fresh local raspberries – omg it was to die for!! Thank you for the amazing recipe! I tripled the recipe and it turned out great! I also avoided chewy oats by broiling the crumble for a minute after baking it – it made them nice and crisp!

  68. Neepa Shah

    Hi Deb,
    I’ve been a big fan for years, but have never wrote to you. Tried this recipe a couple of weeks ago replacing the pears and raspberries with apples and blueberries. It tasted a little bitter, but then I discovered why, apples and blueberries don’t pair well with dark chocolate. I found this handy chart.

    I’m going to try again, but use milk chocolate with apples and raspberries or dark chocolate with bananas and strawberries or white chocolate with mangoes and blackberries, etc. Like you said, the possibilities are endless!

  69. Alice K.

    This dessert is terrific! Easy to assemble. The only downside is that it makes very little dessert! Deb warned us (she writes 3 or possibly 4 servings), but if I were to make it again (and I will!), I will double everything. Too good to be gobbled up in one or two sittings. I used blueberries; the raspberries were too expensive in November in the northeast. Still worked out great. Another SK winner!

  70. Monika

    This is delicious! Chocolate and pear is a great combination. I used frozen raspberries, not measured but more of a sprinkling on top of the pears, and baked it a little longer than the recipe called for. The leftovers were super tasty as an oatmeal topping the next day…

  71. sdkstewart

    Looks amazing! Anything with chocolate on top is a winner for me! And I bet TONS of other fruits would work for the filling as well. :)

  72. I am so ready to try this – we got to a regular potluck and there are a couple of folks who are gluten-free and I discovered that crisps are very easy to make gluten free (and I have the oats for it!). PLUS my husband discovered that he likes cooked pears and only hates them raw. But can I wait for the next potluck to make this?? That is the question.

  73. Mandy S.

    I made this with plums for the fruit. I added cinnamon and cooked them on the stove for just a few minutes and added some cornstarch. Otherwise followed the recipe. It was delicious!!!

    1. Mandy S.

      Made this again last night with pears (unpeeled because I didn’t feel like peeling them), cranberries, and a little extra sugar. I worried it would be too soupy, but it was perfect after coming out of the oven. So delicious!

  74. Julie Gibert

    I’m so glad to see what you say about pumpkin and chocolate. I never understand why people want to put chocolate chips in everything pumpkin.

  75. Elle

    Well I’m very late to the party, but made this tonight for four people, using an 8″ cast iron skillet. I sprinkled a bit of arrowroot into the bubbling pear mixture to thicken it up a bit. Quick and easy and absolutely delicious, topped with vanilla ice cream. I’ll be making this again!