Making fruit crumbles is a very English thing, although le crumble is increasingly being seen on Paris restaurants as a chic new pud. I usually bake them in bulk in individual dishes as in the picture, wrap them in clingfilm and freeze them. Then however many turn up, you’re prepared. When they’re this small, they even reheat well in the oven straight from frozen. Just always put them in a bain marie, ie standing in water inside another dish or tray.
I think the key is to get the crumble topping perfect. I have changed my recipe many times, but I think this one is as good as I’m going to get it. I’ve used spelt flour for its delicious nutty flavour, but if you can’t get it, wheat flour is fine. The fruit needs to be tart: cooked strawberries don’t work for me, not even with the rhubarb combination, but rhubarb, apple and ginger…yum! Or indeed apple with anything. Plums are good, and so are the fleeting blackberries in this recipe, which are in the shops now.
4-6 individual dishes (or 1 large one)
2 med Bramley apples
150g sugar (you can always add more at table)
150g wholemeal spelt flour
50g fine oatmeal
1 tblspn caster sugar
100g unsalted butter
12 walnut halves, chopped
1 tspn crushed coriander seeds
Preheat the oven to 180 degs C
1. Cut up the unpeeled apples into medium chunks (about 1.5 cm)
2. Place in a bowl with the sugar and the blackberries. Mix and set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, the oatmeal and the sugar.
4. Rub in 80g of the butter to make a crumb texture.
5. Stir in the chopped walnuts and the coriander seeds.
6. Divide the blackberry mixture among the individual dishes, packing the fruit well down. make sure it’s nice and full. Pour in some water to come halfway up inside the dishes.
7. Press over the crumble mixture and dot the extra 20g butter over.
8. Make a bain marie in a large oven proof tray.
9. Bake 25 minutes.
Serve hot with creme fraiche or best quality vanilla ice cream.