This recipe is very much the base for you to experiment with fillings. The process is much the same regardless of what you put in it, and it’s documented here because I feel like I’ve really nailed the proportions.
This recipe contains quite a bit less sugar than many others I’ve seen, but I think a great crumble should have a slightly sharp filling. The main thing I’d suggest is that you peel any skin based fruit such as apples an pears before stewing it(plums don’t need peeling). Also, some recipes skip the stovetop stewing process and just rely on the oven to cook the fruit at the same time as the crumble. I’d only recommend this for soft fruits such as berries.
Apples, plums, rhubarb, cherries, berries and pears all make good fillings. A little lemon or lime zest sharpens things up. Dried fruits such as sultanas and apricots add a level of interest, as do things like hazelnuts or almonds or even soft stem ginger. The home baking aisle in the supermarket will have various interesting fruit and nut mixes. Be imaginative, the process won’t fail you!
Ingredients - SERVES 4
- Dice the butter and return to the fridge
- Peel and dice your fruit and other filling ingredients, chuck it in a large pan with the martini, the juice and half the zest of the lemon and the caster sugar and simmer for 15 minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t burn
- Crumble the butter and flour and brown sugar together with your fingertips until it’s a sort of loose rubble, don’t go too fine or the topping wont crunch. Mix in the oats at the end.
- TIP: If the butter gets too warm the crumble will start coming together into big lumps, this is bad. Put the bowl in the fridge and leave it for half an hour then try again.
- Chuck the stewed fruit into the bottom of a suitable oven dish (add a dash of cinnamon at this point if it’s predominantly apple based) and loosely sprinkle over the crumble topping, to a thickness of no more than 1cm or so.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and crunchy looking. If you own a Neff then set it to Circotherm Intensive, which will alternate between ‘normal’ oven and top heat. If not then consider doing the last 5-10 minutes on the grill setting, just be really careful and keep an eye on it – this will burn is a second if the grill is too high
- Dish it up with a big blob of vanilla ice cream!