I really like dessert. I’m one of those people who always looks at the dessert menu first before deciding what to order. At home we have abandoned modern dietary thinking that dessert should be a sometimes treat and more often than not we eat dessert. And I’m not talking about a bowl of ice cream sort of dessert – that to me isn’t real dessert. Nor am I talking about elaborate special occasion desserts just good, simple, tasty desserts that nicely round off the evening meal. Golden syrup dumplings, Apple Brown Betty, rice pudding (also great for breakfast!), that sort of thing. We don’t of course eat these things in the middle of summer (except perhaps rice pudding – it’s good all year round) so winter is a great time to make the most of puddingy type desserts. One dessert that we have frequently, probably at least once a fortnight is a crumble of some description. It’s relatively quick and easy to make and the variations are endless depending on what’s in season. Recently we have had pear and chocolate crumble, a tropical crumble made with pineapple and passionfruit, apple and passionfruit and most recently apple and strawberry.
Writing a recipe for crumble is a little difficult as I make it up as I go along and there really isn’t too much that can go wrong. You can adapt it to what you have in the fruit bowl and the pantry. I like a lot of a fruit and a medium amount of crumble but you can adjust this to your preferences. And I like a crumble that has a bit of body so I tend to use wholemeal flour, at least in part and I generally add oats, sometimes some coconut or some nuts. This is my stab at a recipe for the Apple and Strawberry Crumble I made.
Apple & Strawberry Crumble
- 5 apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 250g strawberries, hulled and cut into half
- 1/2 cup wholemeal plain flour
- 1/4 cup self raising flour
- 100g butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
Place the apple slices into a saucepan with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and about 1 tablespoon of water. Cook over a medium heat until apples are soft. Remove from the heat and stir through the strawberries (as a much softer fruit the strawberries will cook enough just in the oven). Transfer to an oven dish. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
To make the crumble, add the flours to a bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in brown sugar and coconut and sprinkle over the top of the fruit. Pat down a little, but not too firmly. Put the dish on a baking tray covered in foil (the juice from the fruit invariably dribbles over the bowl and this makes the oven much easier to clean). Place in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the crumble is golden and the fruit juices are bubbling slightly. Serve with ice cream or custard.