Vanessa Clarkson: ‘Babies are generally quite accepting of new foods. Even if you find that they comically screw up their face at something new, more often than not, they’re very happy to trust you and explore what you have offered them…’
This Coconut Crumble Bars with Poached Pear recipe is from the new release cookbook ‘Real Food for Babies & Toddlers’.
Coconut Crumble Bars with Poached Pear
Makes 12 bars
Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time 25 minutes
Dietary Info Dairy-free vegetarian vegan
4 pears (about 600 g/1 lb 5 oz)
400 ml (14 fl oz) coconut milk
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
80 g (23/4 oz/½ cup) whole natural almonds
50 g (13/4 oz/¹⁄³ cup) shelled pistachio nut kernels
170 g (6 oz/13/4 cups) rolled (porridge) oats (see note on page 104
65 g (2¼ oz/½ cup) rye flour or wholemeal (whole-grain) spelt flour
90 g (3¼ oz/1 cup) unsweetened desiccated (finely shredded) coconut
125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) coconut oil, melted
10 soft medjool dates, pitted
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a 20 cm (8 inch) square cake tin with baking paper.
Peel, core and roughly chop the pears, then pop in a medium saucepan with the coconut milk and cardamom. Bring to the boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until soft. Mash and set aside.
Meanwhile, using a food processor, whiz the almonds and pistachio nut kernels until very finely chopped, then add the oats, flour, coconut, coconut oil and dates. Pulse until the mixture has a crumble texture.
Place most of the crumble mixture in the prepared tin, reserving a handful (about 3 tablespoons) to sprinkle over the top. Press down on the crumble with the back of a spoon to ensure that it’s tightly packed. Spoon over the pear filling, and make sure that it covers all of the crumble. Sprinkle over the reserved crumble mixture.
Cover with some extra baking paper to ensure that the top of the crumble doesn’t burn. Bake for 15 minutes until cooked through. Set aside to cool, then cut into about 12 pieces. These bars will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week if stored in an airtight container. They also freeze well.
For little ones: Slice the crumble into fingers for easier gripping.