Apple and Pear Crumble with Blackberry Labne Mousse


Apple and Pear Crumble with Blackberry Labne Mousse

There is an unbeatable thrill to be found in baking, and with Sweet Levantine, her second cookbook, Lara Ariss explores the joy of creating sweet treats – something that has fascinated her since she was a child on visits to the old souk of Saida in Lebanon. Sweet Levantine continues down the path taken in Lara’s previous Levantine Harvest with a further celebration of freshly harvested local ingredients and clever medleys of flavor. Whether the desire is a plate of cookies to offer friends over coffee, a comforting pudding to round off an evening meal, or an elegant centerpiece to mark a significant life event, this selection of recipes will satisfy the need of any sweet tooth, and will give a sense of accomplishment and confidence to bakers of all levels of experience.

Recipe by Lara Ariss 

Serves: 10 to 12

  • 300g Granny Smith apples (about 3), cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 350g Anjou pears (about 3), cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 125g light brown caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g butter, chilled and cubed
  • 100g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 160g almonds, walnuts, pecans, and/or
  • hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 500g whole labneh
  • 360ml heavy cream
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g fresh blackberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C.
  2. Place the apples, pears, sugar, orange zest, and orange blossom water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Heat gently for 10 minutes, until the fruit is tender but not too soft.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a 25cm shallow ovenproof dish.
  5. Set aside to cool.
  6. To prepare the crumble, rub the flour and butter together using your fingertips.
  7. Stir in the sugar and the nuts.
  8. Scatter the crumble over the apple mixture.
  9. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the crumble is golden brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and set aside until ready to serve.
  11. In the meantime, to prepare the mousse, use an electric mixer on medium speed to whisk together the labneh, cream, icing sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl, until the mousse is light and fluffy, and medium peaks form.
  12. Fold in the blackberries using a rubber spatula.
  13. Mash some of the berries with a fork before adding them to the labneh for a nice violet color. Serve immediately.