A fruit crumble must be one of life’s greatest comfort foods.
Whatever the occasion, a crumble just makes you feel better, and especially at the moment, I reckon that’s just what we need.
But because my boredom threshold has plummeted over the last few months, I figured I would play around a bit with the classic crumble recipe.
Normally, I usually succumb to my wife’s experience in the pudding department and make a crumble as simply as can be.
No nuts or oats etc, just fruit, flour, butter and sugar. And very good it is too.
But this time I fancied using different fruits and more importantly for me, a different kind of topping.
I always think the crumble topping is the best bit of a crumble, especially when the base has soaked into the moist fruit so you have the contrast of the softness of just cooked crumble and crisp caramelised top. Lovely.
So for the crumble top I made a shortbread dough with added almonds for crunch, and the fruit was whatever was in, or coming into season.
In this case it was a mixture of tart, crisp Granny Smith apples, soft sweet greengages, juicy strawberries and plump blackberries.
I went for Granny Smiths so they wouldn’t mush away like Bramleys, and their tart crispness would be a good foil for the sweetness of the other fruit.
I hate very sweet fruit crumbles!
You could use plums if you can’t find greengages, but I loved the colour of them and they were ripe, juicy and sweet.
I’d never had a greengage before so these were a nice surprise. Make sure they are ripe though, as under-ripe greengages are a bit like a gooseberry.
I got mine from a supermarket as they are now coming into season and ripening.
Strawberries are in because, well, they’re strawberries, and blackberries (from supermarket) as my nod towards autumn.
The combination was sensational, really fruity, with a bit of texture and more importantly, not too sweet, perfect for the shortbread crumble topping, very moorish and biscuity.
If it did nothing else, making this fruit crumble raised my boredom threshold for short while, and made me feel a lot better, especially when I ate it!
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into large dice 250g ripe greengages, or plums, chopped 300g of strawberries, hulled and left whole 150g of blackberries
To make the crumble topping, put the flour, butter and sugar in a mini food processor and whizz until you have a biscuit like dough, and large clumps are formed. Add the flaked almonds and pulse a few times to incorporate while trying to keep some bigger pieces of almonds for texture - see photos below.
If you don't have a food processor, mini or otherwise, use a hand held mixer. Just soften the butter, add the sugar and cream until a light colour. Add the flour and mix until big clumps form, then add the flaked almonds and stir through. Place in a bowl and refrigerate until needed.
Put the apple dice in a saucepan along with 50g caster sugar and 50ml water.
Bring up to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer gently for about 5 minutes or so, until the apples have softened a little but still keep their shape.
Take off the heat and stir in the greengages, strawberries and blackberries. Leave to cool and pour into an ovenproof dish - see photos below.
Crumble the cold topping in large pieces on top of the fruit and bake in a heated 180c oven for about 30-40 minutes until the topping is golden and the fruit is bubbling round the edges - see photos below
Serve with cream, creme fraiche, yoghurt or ice cream, whatever takes your fancy.