Saturday, November 13, 2010

Either/or

Prominent among the many personal rules of thumb that enable me to live a life of cloudless serenity (*cough cough*) is the rule that, in order to qualify as suitable for company, desserts should include either chocolate or fruit. Very occasionally they may include both, and even more occasionally I may be coerced into serving something that includes neither. Certain people in my household who shall remain nameless (but whose names rhyme with BP and Kiss Me) would like to make that coercion happen far more often or, failing that, to go for the chocolate option every. Single. Time.



However, I believe we’ve established my love of fruity desserts. And I am the one doing all the work, after all. So I’ve instituted a house rule on company desserts to achieve some equity: I alternate between fruity and chocolatey. Pie for this week’s guests means brownies for next time. Everyone takes turns being happy. Sort of. And I’ve adopted a strategy from a friend whose spouse may well be more picky than DP and Miss B combined: he makes sure there’s some dessert-type food in the house that she will eat (out of a packet if necessary), and then plows ahead with preparing what he wants.

So, on a night when I make something like this, I make sure we’ve got a sufficient number of Oreos available, and then I have at it. And try not to think about why someone would rather eat Oreos than homemade crumble.

Fall fruits crumble
This dish was concocted with inspiration from several sources: the apple-plum combo came from smitten kitchen, and is topped with dinner with julie’s Big-Crumb Crumble topping, my current favorite. The cranberries were my own idea because I love them so, and as always, had some hanging around.

Fruit
2-4 Tbs/30-60 g butter, divided
a handful of dried cranberries
enough apple juice to cover the cranberries
2 apples suitable for cooking (I used Jonathons)
4 regular-sized plums, or 6 smaller ones (I used black plums)
spiced sugar (more info here)

Topping
½ cup/2 oz/60 g all-purpose flour
½ cup/1.5 oz/45 g oats
½ cup/3 oz/90 g sugar*
2 oz/60 g butter
2 Tbs/30 g honey or maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Grease an ovenproof baking dish with some of the butter and set aside.

Put cranberries and juice in a heatproof bowl or jug. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Set aside to steep while you get on with the rest of the crumble.

Peel, core/stone, and chop the apples and plums. When you’re about halfway done, put a good-sized skillet on the stove to heat on medium with the rest of the butter in it.

When the butter is melted and starting to foam, put the chopped fruit in the skillet and turn to coat. Cook until fruit begins to soften and release some of its juice, about 7-10 minutes. Season with spiced sugar as you go and stir frequently. When fruit has softened, remove pan from the heat and scrape fruit into prepared baking dish. Add cranberries and stir to mix through.

Put all topping ingredients into a food processor and pulse several times to combine. Scoop out and sprinkle clumps of topping over fruit to cover completely.

Bake crumble for 35-45 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned and fruit is bubbling.

Serve with cream (whipped or not) or ice cream. Serves 4, with a bit left over.

* I might cut back on the sugar next time; the topping was a little sweeter than I would have liked.

2 comments:

celia said... Best Blogger Tips

It was 33C here today (probably hotter in Canberra), but I still feel like crumble. I always feel like crumble, particularly when it looks and sounds as good as yours! :)

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

So do I--luckily they adapt well to whatever fruit is in season!

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