When my parents came for a visit last weekend, they bought with them a whole assortment of goodies from home. Some freshly dug potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, some Discovery apples and
plums. As the fruit was home grown, some of it was a little bruised from where it had fallen off the tree, not the best for eaten au-natural, but perfect for baking with. Victoria
Apple and plum are a classic combination and when thinking about classic English desserts, at the top of the list must be the much loved crumble. Its amazing how a few crumbs strewn over the top of lightly cooked fruit can taste so good. Who doesn’t love crumble?
You can of course jazz crumbles up no end with fancy flavour combinations, pear and chocolate chip, spring instantly to mind, not something my mother or grandmother would ever have eaten together in a crumble, as traditionally crumbles were purely fruit based. I decided to stick with a good old fashioned crumble and top mine with a simple butter, sugar and flour mixture. I added a few buckwheat flakes (in place of my mothers usual oats) and a pinch of cinnamon, a spice always welcomed by any fruit.
It took around 10 minutes to put together, meaning in only half an hour I was happily tucking into a taste of home and childhood. Soft, juicy fruit complimented by the toasted buttery crumbs…bliss.
If you like to add some ‘sauce’ to your crumble, it must be custard. There is no room for debate on this – keep that cream and ice cream away from me! It’s either custard or nothing at all. I had my first portion of crumble au-natural, as I couldn’t wait to make custard! As it’s just me eating this, there was a portion left, and I made the effort to make some custard for that bit. I'm not sure which way I prefer.
Plum & Apple Crumble
200g Discovery apples
1 tbsp water
3 tsp caster sugar
20g brown rice flour
10g fine ground cornmeal or ground almonds (not cornflour)
20g buckwheat flakes (or GF oats)
15g caster sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tsp almond liqueur (or 2 drops almond extract)
Preheat the oven to 190C.
Peel and core the apples and cut into 2cm chunks. Remove the stones from the plums and slices into quarters or eights depending on size. Place the apple into a pan with the water and heat gently until the apples are just beginning to soften. Add the plums and sugar and cook for only 3-4 minutes, until the fruit is just beginning to go soft and fluffy as the edges. You don’t want complete mush!
Transfer the fruit to a deep 6 inch round ovenproof dish and set aside.
For the crumble, place the butter and all the other ingredients, expect the almond liqueur, into a small bowl and rub together using the tips of your fingers. Lift your fingers up above the bowl as your rub the mixture together, letting the crumble mix fall back into the bowl, just like when making pastry. It doesn’t have to be completely fine, a few largish lumps are good.
Add the almond liqueur or extract and mix again briefly.
Scatter the crumble topping over the surface of the fruit. Place the dish on a baking tray to catch any juices that may bubble over.
Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until lightly golden brown and bubbling around the edges.
Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.