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Pear and Chocolate Crumble

Pear and Chocolate Crumble combines sweet pears with chocolate and pumpernickel for a warm and wonderful comfort dessert! - Bake or Break

As I told you recently, I came into possession of several new cookbooks. This recipe comes from one of those books, simply entitled Cobblers and Crumbles. When I first saw this book, I thought to myself that those are two things I just don’t make frequently. In fact, in over a year and a half, I’ve only blogged about two of them. Why is that? Not a clue. I quickly decided that surely if I bought the book, I would make at least one in the not too distant future.

I chose this recipe for many reasons. First of all, Quinn loves pears. Secondly, I was intrigued by the combination of pears and chocolate. Thirdly, I wasn’t sure I had ever actually eaten pumpernickel. So, with our recent bout of winter weather, we decided that it was definitely time to make this.

Pear and Chocolate Crumble combines sweet pears with chocolate and pumpernickel for a warm and wonderful comfort dessert! - Bake or Break

Leaving Quinn in charge of the pear portion of the recipe, I got out my food processor and made the topping. Both components were very simple and quick, and dividing the labor had this lovely dessert in the oven in record time.

While the pear and chocolate combination was initially what interested me, the real winning combination is that of pear and pumpernickel. It may not be a flavor I’m accustomed to, but I really liked it. The pumpernickel on its own, I think, would have been overpowering. Mixing it with brown bread tamed it down just to the right level.

There is just something about warm, fruity desserts like this that makes them seem to belong in winter. Maybe the warmth of it makes it a bit like comfort food. In any case or season, this delicious crumble is definitely a winner.

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Pear and Chocolate Crumble

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Pear and Chocolate Crumble combines sweet pears with rich chocolate and pumpernickel for a warm and wonderful comfort dessert!

Pear and chocolate crumble with ice cream.


For the filling:

  • 2-3 large, not too ripe pears
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder* or grated bittersweet chocolate
  • finely grated zest of half of a lemon

For the topping:

  • 4 ounces sliced pumpernickel
  • 4 ounces stale brown bread**
  • 4 tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder* or grated bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar


To make the filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Set a baking sheet on the middle rack to heat.
  2. Peel, core, and slice (or chop) the pears. Place in a 1-quart baking dish, filling about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with sugar, cocoa, and lemon zest. Mix well to coat the pears. Cover and set aside.

To make the topping:

  1. Tear up the breads and put in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for about a minute until very roughly crumbled. Add the cocoa, butter, and sugar. Pulse for about a minute until finer crumbs form. Do not overblend. The topping may be chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Sprinkle the pears evenly with topping mixture. Place the baking dish on the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Pears should be tender and the topping crisp.
  3. Serve warm, preferably with ice cream.


*Sweetened cocoa powder is generally what is used to make drinks such as hot chocolate. I made my own using a ratio of 2 parts confectioner’s sugar to 1 part unsweetened cocoa powder.

**I used a sweetened wheat & oat bread from my local grocery store’s bakery.

Recipe slightly adapted from Cobblers & Crumbles.

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    28 Comments on “Pear and Chocolate Crumble”


  2. I see that we had the same idea for a comforting dessert to overcome the winter months! Pear and chocolate is always a winner in my book

  3. I’ve never been fond of eating pears out of hand but paired with chocolate, baked & served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean Haagen-Dazs ice cream…I need no coaxing to try!

  4. Well I have to say that I was a little dubious about this one, but as I have found each of the recipes I have tried on this site to be really tasty and interesting, I gave it a go.

    I agree about using both the pumpernickel and the brown bread. And of course, pears and chocolate, what else could one want.

  5. That picture is so mouthwatering! Especially since I love pear and chocolate. 🙂

  6. Hendria, “interesting” is a very good description.

    Jenn, your chocolate/pear dessert looks delicious!

    JEP, the ice cream is a must for this dessert.

    Wanda, I’m glad you liked it.

    Thanks, Lori!

  7. The addition of pumpernickel is certainly an unusual one and I must say, I can’t quite taste it. Of course, I’d be willing to give it a try and change that.

  8. The picture and description looks very much like a bread pudding- always delicious is my book.

  9. this is great!! Love your site and your photography!!!

  10. Brilynn, the pumpernickel was indeed interesting. It worked better than I had thought it would.

    Joy, it does look like bread pudding now that you mention it.

    Thanks, Terri!

  11. Hmm… I’m very picky about fruit and chocolate. But then whenever I usually try something, I end up really liking it. So, maybe I’ll give this a try. I do love pears.

    Thanks for the pep talk, too! 🙂

  12. i think this looks so delicious, love your blog.

  13. Amy, I hope you like it! You’re welcome, too.

    farncharm, thank you so much!

  14. It’s a book I’ve thought about getting! The crumble looks really good and pumpernickel is an unusual addition indeed.

  15. Hmmm… hubby loves chocolate, kid loves pears, and I love both. I’ll have to try this luscious treat!


  16. Tommy, pumpernickel is a bit unusual for this but somehow it works.

    Lori, I hope you like it!

  17. Oh goodness that first photo is so good. I want to snuggle inside the chocolate between the two pieces of pear!

  18. Why don’t I think to pair chocolate with pears. Is there anything chocolate doesn’t improve? Thanks for the uniquely delicious recipe!

  19. This site is amazing. I want to eat everything! I can’t wait to try to make some of the food offered on here.

  20. Lovely! Love this combo, it is one of my favorites!

  21. Thanks, Joy! That sounds like a great idea.

    Susan, it’s truly amazing how many things go with chocolate. Ah, the power of chocolate.

    Whitney, thanks so much! I hope you find some recipes you like!

    Cakespy, it is really a delicious combination.

  22. terrific, it really looks yummy.

  23. This looks excellent…I must try it! Pears and chocolate – very interesting combo!

  24. I have a leftover <a href= of homemade pumpernickel in my freezer that I think I might have to commandeer for this recipe. Interesting idea! Thanks!

  25. Not sure why that link didn’t work in the above comment (it ate my code!) but here it is again. Sorry!

  26. Just found your blog and have been going back and reading old entries as well! If you like the pear and chocolate combo, consider pear and nutella. When I studied in Italy the family I lived with did this all the time: pear slices with a little dollop of mascarpone and nutella mixed together. Heavenly.

  27. College Gourmet, I would consider Nutella and just about anything. I must give it a go with pears. Thanks for the tip!

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