I loved the pavlovas, mousses and chilled baked custards she made during the summer months but really looked forward to autumn when she would start to serve comforting hot puddings. Top of the list were crumbles. I loved her apple crumble and used to go weak at the knees with each spoonful of her rhubarb crumble… with a large dollop of freshly whipped cream, they couldn’t be improved on! I vividly remember so many of those family meals and the wonderful food that we ate.
The great thing about crumbles is that they are incredible easy to make and you can use a whole range of fruits to take advantage of whatever is in season. Although both apple and rhubarb crumbles will always hold a special place in my heart because they were the variations my grandmother made most often, I also like to include other fruits. This recipe uses plums and blueberries but feel free to experiment and use your favourite fruits.
Even though I have made a very basic crumble mixture here using just flour, butter and sugar, this can also be adapted to include spices for extra flavour. You can also include some finely chopped nuts or oats in the crumble mixture to create something a little different.
12 plums, halved, stoned and sliced
150g blueberries, fresh or frozen
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
200g plain flour
120g butter, cubed
75g caster sugar1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan Oven 160C/Gas mark 4.
2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and then tumble into 6 individual ramekins (about 200ml capacity) or a 1.5litre oven-proof baking dish. Place on a baking tray and set aside.
3. Place the flour into a large mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the caster sugar and mix through until it is evenly distributed. Pile the crumble on top of the fruit in the ramekins (or baking dish) and bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes (allow an extra 10 minutes if baking in one dish) until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbling up around the edges.