Chocolate and pear crumble in a chocolate pastry cup. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Warm and comforting crumbles are great for winter - serve with custard, cream or ice cream. Here are five great recipes in single portion sizes.


Serves 8

3 quinces, peeled and diced

75 g sugar

250g frozen raspberries


100g plain flour

75g butter

75g soft brown sugar

Place the quince and sugar in a pot and add just enough water to cover. Cover and simmer until the quinces are soft.

Uncover and increase the heat until the liquid thickens into a syrup. Mix in the frozen raspberries, then, using a slotted spoon, divide the mixture between 8 buttered and ovenproof cups/mugs.

Preheat the oven to 190°C.

CRUMBLE TOPPING: Place the flour, butter and sugar into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Spoon the topping equally among the cups/mugs.

Bake for 15 minutes. Serve warm from the oven.


Serves 6 - 8

4 large unripe pears, peeled and cubed

30ml sherry


150g butter

420ml flour

60ml cocoa

1 egg, beaten


75g butter

45ml brown sugar

5ml vanilla essence

50g walnuts

50g hazelnuts

375ml rolled oats

150g chocolate chips

In a pot, add the pears and enough water to just cover. Simmer until soft and then turn up the heat to reduce the liquid.

Deglaze the pan with the sherry. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

PASTRY CUPS: Add the butter, flour and cocoa to a food processor and pulse until mixture is fine. Add egg and pulse until it forms a ball of pastry.

Roll pastry out to 2mm thick and cut out a circle using a small pot lid. Drape the circle of pastry over a dariole mould or other small, round ovenproof bowl. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Turn over while still hot.

CRUMBLE TOPPING: Add the butter, sugar and vanilla essence to the food processor. Pulse until well combined. Mix in the walnuts and hazelnuts and pulse again to incorporate. Add the oats and turn the mixture out into a large mixing bowl before adding the chocolate chips.

Add some cooled pears to the cooled pastry case and top with a generous amount of crumble topping.

Turn the oven down to 170°C and bake for 20 minutes

* If pears are ripe and juicy, add them to a pot with the sherry (no water) and simmer for a few minutes until infused.


Serves 8

1 kg mixed dried fruit

1 stick of cinnamon

125ml nutty wheat flour

5ml ground cinnamon

60ml brown sugar

125ml flaked almonds

60ml ground almonds

75g softened butter

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Add fruit mix to a pot with the cinnamon stick and cover with water. Simmer until fruit is very soft.

Divide fruit and syrup between 8 oven-proof cups.

Combine flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and almonds in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub butter into flour mixture until mixture is moist and lumpy.

Spoon the crumble topping over the fruit. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.


Serves 6

30g butter

2 fresh pineapples, peeled, halved, cored and coarsely chopped

80ml brown sugar

375ml tropical muesli

60ml plain flour

125ml flaked coconut

30ml honey

40g butter, extra, melted

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the pineapple and sugar and stir to combine. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the pineapple is soft and the syrup thickens.

Spoon the pineapple mixture evenly between 6 ovenproof cups.

Combine the muesli, flour, coconut, honey and extra butter in a bowl.

Sprinkle muesli mixture over pineapple mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown.


Serves 6

4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped

125g fresh dates, pitted and chopped

80ml fresh orange juice

1 cinnamon stick

80ml rolled oats

50g chopped pecans

45ml flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place apples, dates, orange juice and cinnamon stick in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 2-3 minutes or until just tender.

Discard the cinnamon stick and divide the mixture among 6 ovenproof cups.

Combine oats, pecans and coconut. Spoon evenly over the top of the 6 cups and bake for 15 minutes. - The Star