Ask his lordship what infuriates him most about his wonderful wife …
“Measurements” is likely to be his answer!
Let me explain …
He keeps saying, “That tasted nice, how do you make it?”
“I just keep throwing things in until it looks right!” I reply.
Not helpful I know but ask many people and you’ll find that they long ago stopped bothering to laboriously weigh out every ingredient.
So for the benefit of my beloved, I’m trying to quantify my recipes 🙂
Crumbles are one of his favourites and their fruit content normally depends upon the season: rhubarb in the early summer, brambles in the autumn and frozen mixed fruit at other times.
I mix brown sugar, margarine and plain flour (or a mixture of plain flour and oats) in equal quantities for the crumble mix.
- Put margarine, flour and sugar into a large bowl and rub together with the fingertips until everything is combined and resembles breadcrumbs
- Now for the infuriating part Howard … if it doesn’t look or feel right add more flour and sugar (hand and room temperature affect the fat)
- Add the oats (if using)
The mixture can be put into a plastic food bag or container at this stage and stored until required. I always keep a container full in the freezer … very handy!!
- Pear: I peel, half and core the pears then poach in sugar and water. I sometimes poach in blackberries to give them a lovely rich colour. I assemble the dessert with the pears left “whole”.
- Rhubarb: I stew this with brown sugar (no water) until cooked thoroughly. I’ve always got a mountain of rhubarb in the freezer as it grows wild here. I also love mixing in some fresh braised ginger during the stewing stage which can be taken out leaving a lovely flavour.
- Frozen mixed fruit: Surplus picked fruit or bulk that the supermarket is selling off are good and very handy for emergency desserts (when guests change their minds and “yes, we will stay in for a meal this evening”!). Place the frozen fruit into a pan with some brown sugar and cook through slowly. This will need draining before the crumble topping is added as the excess syrup will make the topping very soggy
- Assembling Balkissock Crumble …
- Select a suitable container for the dessert – I normally use ramekins for the guests for presentation purposes – any small to medium sized oven proof dish will suffice.
- Drain the cooked fruit and place into the bottom of the dish
- Place the crumble mix onto the top of the fruit
- Top off with a sprinkling of Demerara sugar
- Cook in the oven for about 30 – 50 mins at approx. 160 ˚C (depending upon what I’m cooking for the main meal the oven may be hotter or cooler so I adjust the time accordingly – the crumble should be golden brown and the sugar will caramelise on the top)
How much fruit and topping you have depends upon personal preference. I normally have (depth wise) twice and much fruit as crumble.
The crumble is delicious with cream, ice cream or custard … many guests like two or all three!
I’ll add a photo next time we enjoy our crumble!!
Copyright © 2011 by Cordelia
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