This year, I think we can all agree, is a bit of a mess.
Apart from everything else, the weather, of late, just hasn’t been screaming SUMMER! at all – for all that we joke about the British weather, overcast, grey skies and drizzle just shouldn’t be on the July calendar.
I am especially pining for the seasonal soft fruits and with all the Pick Your Own farms being closed, I have only the thornless blackberry outside the back door to fall back on.
The fruit is of an impressive size, I must admit, and plentiful over the season, but in relatively small quantities at a time. Whilst picking and eating them straight away, without any detour through the house at all, is delicious, it is also fleeting, so I have come up with this idea to add a little indulgence and eke out the treat.
This recipe combines the warmth and comfort of a pudding of the colder months with the brightness and sweetness of summer berries, and is easily – and literally – thrown together. The crumble is a little richer than traditional, teetering towards a buttery shortbread, but the portions are small. The best part is it can be whisked together in seconds and kept in the fridge to use as required: sprinkle over a few berries, 15 minutes in the oven and its golden crust and sweet/sharp fruit is ready to be enjoyed.
Not adding any sugar makes the fruit a great contrast to the rich, crunchy topping. Better still, you don’t even have to use fresh fruit (although it is nice) – haul out that tin of peaches from the cupboard. Or apricots. Or whatever is lurking back there. It’s all delicious.
Go on, treat yourself.
50g plain flour
50g icing sugar
75g unsalted butter
50g slivered almonds to sprinkle
- Put the butter, sugar and flour in a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Tip into a container and add the almonds. Give a quick stir to mix.
- Keep the container in the fridge until required.
- To use
- Heat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan.
- Put a layer of fresh berries or tinned fruit into an individual ramekin or other small oven-proof dish. NB If using tinned fruit, be sure to drain off all the syrup/juice, otherwise there will be too much moisture. Just fruit, no juice.
- Spoon over some crumble mixture, making sure the fruit is covered. Add a few extra almond flakes if liked.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes or so, and enjoy as is or with a little cream/yogurt.