Monday, 15 October 2012

Fruity Crumble

Crumble title

There's a great fruit and vegetable (and foreign food! - but that's an obsession for another time) market in my local city centre. Yes you might have to drive half an hour to get there, or sit on a bus for an hour, but it really is worth it. To start with it's a gorgeous city with great historical sites (I can appreciate these and I've lived here a long time) but it has the Corn Exchange. I know this sounds like some sort of shop, but it's really the old corn market, where farmers bought and sold. So a bit of history muddled in I guess!

Anyway, this market is dirt cheap for all fruit and veg. I bought massive carving pumpkins for 1/3 of the price they were in the supermarket! (Halloween is going to be fun!).

There is the problem however, of my very-ripe fruit. Not quite to the point of going bad, but too ripe to enjoy uncooked. So what to do with it?

crumble 1

Don't hate the simplicity of this recipe, everyone knows in the Autumn (Fall)/ Winter, there really is nothing better than a rustic dessert.

Gooey, fruity crumble, with sweet baked topping, reminds me so much of being a child.

My brother hated all fruit but apples, so once we decided to trick him. Crumble being his favourite pudding, we chopped up the apples for the bottom, and stuffed in a few gooseberries! We didn't tell him until after he had admitted that he liked it!

crumble collage

I apologise, but this is the secret gooseberry crumble's older, more sophisticated crumble sister! In my family, oats were never traditionally added, but I like the extra dimension of texture!

crumble 5

Don't try and make these too perfect, you'll never get to happen. Instead, enjoy the fruit bubbling up to create a sticky sauce.

I made these in little individual ramekins - as I said, this is the grown up sophisticated crumble - but it would work equally as well in one large dish!

crumble 6

As we are creating a grown up crumble, I replaced the expected flavours with some surprising ones. Cinnamon is almost, at this point, expected in the crumble. Not this one!


Preheat the oven to 160°C

   4 Victoria Plums (Uber-ripe)
   3 Nectarines (Ditto)
   1 tsp Vanilla Seed Paste
   1 Cup Flour
   1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
   1/4 Cup Sugar
   1/4 Cup Dairy-Free Spread.
   1/2 tsp Almond Essence

1. De-pit the Plums and the Nectarines, cut into 1" cubes.
2. In a small mixing bowl add the chopped fruit and the vanilla, mix thoroughly.
3. Spoon the fruit out equally into your serving dishes.
4. In a separate (or, if you're like me, use the same bowl you mixed your fruit in!) bowl stir together the Oats, the Sugar and the Flour.
5. Add the Dairy-Free Spread and Almond essence, and either with your fingers, or with a fork (depending on how messy you want to get) rub together the dry ingredients and the fat. The mixture should look like sand (or clumpier, if you let the fat get a little too warm!)
6. Spoon the crumble mixture on top of your fruit.
7. Place the individual ramekins on to a baking tray.
8. Bake at the centre of the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the tops are golden.


   I really like this dessert in the evenings after your evening meal, especially if the evening meal is
   something light, just leave the oven on with these inside and they will be ready at the end of your meal!

   The oats are there to add a little more crunch to the topping, feel free to leave them out completely.

     Fruit - You could use almost any fruit, although I might suggest that pineapple may be a little odd. Mango
     is a personal favourite (but mango anything is a personal favourite!) Traditionally apples are best, with a
     little nutmeg and cinnamon!
     Sugar - Any powdered sugar substitute works really well.
     Vanilla Seed Paste - Vanilla essence would work, or just omit entirely.

   Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

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