On a hike through a pine forest in Gueret (in France’s central region), I couldn’t have missed the smell of fruit in the air. It’s the canine in me that likes to sniff out tasty goodness where unexpected, and how could I possibly turn down a forest full of ripe blackberries?? (That would be madness!) I return shortly with bowl in hand, ready to brave the spiky thorns for a good feed, and I’ve got a British beauty in mind to bake for my French hosts… a good ‘ol crumble. The recipe follows my red stained fingers and clothes below.
Note, this crumble recipe is good for most any kind of fruit, don’t be bound by the classic blackberry!
A Blackberry Crumble (that is really easy to make)
You will need:
a bowl of fruit, the size of the vessel you’re baking your crumble in filled 3/4 full with fruit
150g unsalted butter (grass fed if you can get it)
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup raw sugar + 1/4 cup raw sugar for the fruit
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup plain flour or spelt flour for a wheat free version
1 tsp vanilla essence or extract
Wash your fruit and drain well. If you are using stoned fruit or fruit with seeds, remove them and cut roughly into 1 inch cubes. Transfer to your baking dish, scatter the 1/4 cup of sugar over the top and drizzle the vanilla around the dish. Preheat your oven to 200C. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, 1/2 cup of sugar, salt, and mix with your hand. Roughly cut the butter into cubes, making sure your butter is firm and cold straight out of the fridge. You don’t want softened butter for this. Add the butter to the flour mixture, then with a knife, cut the butter through the dry ingredients to blend them together. Once the butter is in many tiny pieces, you can use your fingers to rub the butter into the dry mix until you have nice crumbs. I like to squish handfuls of the mix together so that you have uneven sized boulders and stones for the top of your crumble. Pour the crumble mix onto your fruit and slide into the middle of the oven to bake for 45-55 mins until your fruit has stewed, the crumble is crunchy and golden on top with some tasty burnt bits here and there.
Serve while hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream along side your delicious mess. Best enjoyed with pals.