Pear and chocolate crisp

I adapted this recipe from an articie on low-cholesterol food in BBC Good Food magazine. Despite being virtuously fat-free, it is surprisingly nice. I love pears with ginger, and chocolate and ginger are good too, so it seemed like a no-brainer to add ginger to the recipe. I expect it would be even better with cream poured over it, but then the “low-fat” label would be gone!

It’s best eaten warm, but let it stand for 10 minutes after removing from the oven so that the pears aren’t scaldingly hot.

Pear and chocolate crisp

For 4:

  • 2-3 pears, depending on size.
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp Muscovado sugar
  • 1/2 knob of stem ginger in syrup (optional)
  • 4 tsp Poire William, kirsch, or cognac (optional)


  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 25 g ground almonds
  • 1 egg white

Preheat the oven to 160C (140 fan). Peel, core and dice the pears, and put in a small pan with the lemon juice and sugar. Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for 5-8 minutes more to reduce the liquid to a syrupy consistency, raising the heat if necessary. The pear pieces must remain whole. If using the alcohol, which givies it some extra oomph, add it now. Spoon the mixture into 4 small ramekins.

Finely chop the ginger and scatter over the pears. To make the topping, blend the dry ingredients in a bowl (sift the sugar if it is lumpy). Whisk the egg white till stiff, then fold into the cocoa mixture. The result will look rather strange, but don’t worry. Dollop a spoonful on top of each ramekin and shake the ramekin or use the back of a spoon to level the top and ensure the pears are covered.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the topping is firm to the touch. When it has cooled slightly, it will be crispy on top and slightly squishy underneath. According to the magazine, this has a mere 140 calories per serving!

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