Ah, the great British crumble. The things we English would do for that warm, buttery bowl of soft fruity deliciousness. I have it on good authority that the crumble tradition began during the second world war. During times of killjoy rationing, people couldn’t scrimp together enough ingredients to make the pastry for a pie, and so instead they crumbled together a little flour, sugar and margarine to sprinkle over the filling. Being poor brings out intense comfort food creation skills in the best of us.
My recipe is a little different than the keep-calm-and-carry-on-ers, but this is because it’s now 2014 and you can buy stem ginger at Sainsbury’s. It goes wonderfully with a big dollop of custard, if you can make your own you’re a braver soul than I, Ambrosia from the corner shop for me.
for the crumble:
200g plain flour
50g demerera sugar
50g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter (cubed at room temp)
- Pre heat your oven to Gas Mark 5 (conversions here).
- Dice the apples and slice the plums so that they’re nice and small, small enough to stew in to that characteristic crumble filling. Put them in a well greased baking dish (size is not important, choose the most average sized one you have) Sprinkle over the stem ginger (note here, I’m not talking about the raw ginger root, I’m talking the sweet stuff from a jar).
- Add the flour, cinnamon and sugar and toss together until all the fruit is coated.
- Now start on your crumble. It’s very simple, just add the butter cubes to the flour and sugar and rub it in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Here’s a little video on that method if you’re not with me.
- Take your pretend breadcrumbs, and pour them all over your fruit. Try and make it as even as possible for basic baking purposes but keeping it tidy is not a priority here, you’re making crumble.
- Slide the dish on to the top shelf of the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
- Serve up with custard, cream, yoghurt, something else or all of the above.
The ginger in this crumble does take you out of your pudding comfort zone, but it’s like putting you in to another comfort zone that’s just as comfortable as your other one, but not as familiar. Trust me, it’s worth trying. This recipe has made me feel all warm and patriotic, so here’s Sex Pistols for your track recommendation.