Monday, August 19, 2013
A quick and easy Summer fruit crumble...
Last Summer, after my Grandad's funeral, my family and I waved goodbye to the last of the many friends and relations who had come to pay their respects and took a walk around my Grandparent's pretty garden. We soon came to my Grandad's pride and joy - the vegetable patch. It was quite a sight - rows and rows of raspberries and blackberries stood neatly around the edges while little goosberry bushes squatted in the middle. By this time most of the vegetables were finished for the year but the berries were at their absolute prime and every branch drooped heavily. We couldn't bear to let anything go to waste so we picked and picked until everything was safely gathered in.
I'm something of a preserving enthusiast and love nothing more than bottling Summer in jams, chutneys, syrups and pickles but I'll often find myself three batches of jam deep with a huge glut of fruit still to go. In this case I just pop any leftover fruit into the freezer and continue to enjoy the juicy and flavoursome berries right through the winter - taking them out as and when I need them for compots, puddings and to go on top of my breakfast cereal with yogurt. When I picked these berries last year I felt like the human equivalent of a wet flannel that's been tightly wrung out and drooped over the side of the bath and couldn't face doing anything beyond washing them, putting them into little bags and burying them at the very bottom of the freezer.
Cut to yesterday afternoon when I made the happy discovery that the berries were still there! One thing sprang to my mind - crumble! As I mentioned in my blog post about last weekends camping trip, I reject the notion that Summer is in any way on the wane and though Autumn is one of my very favourite seasons, will not be yearning for my jeans and jumpers any time soon but hang on a minute what's this, cinnamon and ginger? Tell me more...
This crumble is easy! It ain't' no thing. It's not even a real recipe. To make it, first fill an oven dish with frozen berries of your choice (I used a mixture of blackberries, goosberries and blackcurrents) then stir in some dark brown sugar to taste (I used about a tablespoonful but you could use more or less or substitute the sugar for a good squeeze of agave nectar or a big spoonful of honey). I used my home made breakfast cereal as a ready made crumble topping! I put a couple of cupfuls in a bowl and mixed in around two teaspoons of ground cinnamon and two teaspoons of ground ginger plus a bit more sugar. Tip the crumble mixture over the fruit and press down gently. I dotted the top of the crumble with a few knobs of butter as a treat.
Bake in the oven at around 170c for half an hour.
This is the perfect pudding for a lazy late Summer Sunday when the sun is low in the sky but still warm. Eaten warm with a dollop of ice cream it will feel wonderfully decadent, left to cool and spooned over natural yogurt it will feel like Summer personified (or desertified!....no?). It was so lovely to be eating the fruit from my Grandad's back garden over a year later and brought back so many memories and feelings of being looked after and loved - something I'll always be grateful for!