Crumble

Back in my mid-20s when I was a crazy young lawyer working all hours my also lawyer husband and I would head out on a Friday night and would often end up drinking late with friends at our innercity terrace. One night, I brought out a perfectly cooked raspberry and pear crumble and ice cream at 1am and completely shocked our mates. Where did this come from? What the?

Well it came from my freezer. I always have a bag stashed full of crumble topping in a ziplock bag. It has to be one of the best most freezable treats. I also have a bag of good quality frozen raspberries and a flattened ziplock bag of frozen lightly stewed pear or apple (depending on what looks good when I’m in the fruit market). You can also add quinces. You can use berries, apricots, peaches, plums etc, currently in season, to create a lighter summery pudding.

If I’m using pear or apple, I toss the fruit with a little cinnamon and sugar, orange and lemon zest and a few tablespoons of water or orange/lemon juice to get it going, and cook in a covered pan on low heat until soft. The apple or pear pieces should still be whole and not too mushy. Once cooled, I freeze the pears or apple with their syrupy juice in ziplock bags, which I flatten to one layer of fruit so the fruit defrosts quickly.

When ready to make the crumble, I toss the frozen raspberries and pears together and spoon into single serve ramekins or one large baking dish (the pears and raspberries may go into the dish frozen). Top the fruit with the crumble (see recipe below). Don’t smooth out the crumble too much or press it down. The fruit will sink a little if you put it in the dish frozen, so be generous with the fruit and don’t worry if your crumble mound is over the lip of the dish. The crumble can be cooked immediately or covered with plastic wrap and put in the fridge up to 6 hours before you want to cook it.

To cook the crumble, put the ramekins or baking dish in a 180 degC oven for 35-40 mins or until bubbling and golden (put on a baking tray lined with parchment paper so any escaping bubbling raspberry doesn’t mess up the oven). Check the crumble after 30 mins to make sure the topping isn’t browning too much – and if so, put some foil over the top to stop it from burning. If the fruit is frozen when it goes into the oven, check the crumble is hot and bubbling all the way through before serving with vanilla ice cream.

A crumble (or a ‘crisp’ in American speak) is a great dessert to put together and bring to a friends place at the last minute – it’s a perfect handmade gift; something kids and adults love. And if you want to take it to a new level, make a beautiful hand made vanilla ice cream or have some on hand in the freezer (I’ll cover ice creams, in particular a true vanilla, in a later post).

Crumble (this makes a big bag which will last a while)

275g brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons ground ginger
215g unsalted butter, diced (keep it very cold – try to use good quality butter e.g. lurpak)
400g plain flour, sifted
50g rolled oats
Pinch of sea salt flakes, ground finely in your fingers.

Mix the brown sugar, baking powder and ground ginger in a bowl.

In another bowl, combine the butter, flour, oats and salt and rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until you get pea sized crumbles. Then mix through the sugar/baking powder/ginger mix with a metal spoon. And you’re done. Put in a ziplock bag and freeze or use straight away.

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These days (10 years on) I am of course pulling out the crumble around 9pm and am in bed by 930pm. Even if I cant, the crumble concept at least has lasted the distance.

I hope you enjoy – let me know what you think

Kamilla x

Tags:

Categories: Freezer ideas, Recipes

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2 Comments on “Crumble”

  1. Bec
    13/02/2012 at 7:00 am #

    I do this too! (maybe you gave me the idea – can’t remember!). I sometimes add coconut to the crumble mixture and I also sometimes add good quality dark chocolate to pears for something decadent if we are entertaining

  2. 13/08/2012 at 9:35 am #

    Great recipe! The whole table (9 silenced diners!) loved it yesterday! I’ve got spare crumble in the freezer and look forward to using it again!

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