From autumn until the end of spring, a fruit crumble is one of my favourite deserts to serve after a roast lunch.
I love the fact that you can use a variety of fruit combinations, and quite often the fruit that I use is dictated by what I have growing in my garden. I usually have a plentiful supply of rhubarb and quite often have some stashed in the freezer. Cooking apples, if not from my garden, are available to buy all year round, and depending on the weather, at the end of the summer I still have some autumn fruiting raspberries or blackberries left to harvest. I prefer to pre-cook the fruit I am using so for example, if I am using rhubarb as the base fruit, I pre-cook this with some brown sugar, fresh ginger and orange, or cinnamon and brown sugar if it is apples. My family love any combination of raspberries, blueberries or blackberries with apple, and I like to add strawberries to rhubarb. Keeping frozen mixed berries in the freezer, works well, and a handful can be added to the cooked apple. I have even been known to slice up a banana into cooked apple mixture to add some interest and an extra flavour dimension.
So the flavours of fruit for a crumble are endless and very much chosen based on personal taste. Be as inventive as your palate allows you to be! This is the recipe for the basic crumble mix that I always use, and it has never failed me!
Basic Crumble Mixture
8ozs/225g plain flour
5ozs/150g soft brown sugar
3ozs/75g butter (softened, not straight from fridge)
1 level tsp baking powder
2ozs/50g porridge oats (optional)
What to do:
1. Mix the flour and baking powder together.
2. Cut the butter into little pieces and add to the flour, and then rub it in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Stir in the brown sugar and porridge oats if using. The crumble mixture is now ready to use, and at this point this mixture can be put in a freezer bag, and kept in the freezer until required.
4. Place the prepared fruit into an oven proof dish, and tip the crumble mixture in on top.
5. Bake at 180oC/350oF/Gas 5 for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown with the fruit bubbling underneath. It’s always a good idea to let it cool slightly before tucking in to avoid burning your mouth!
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What is your favourite fruit combination in a crumble