Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Light summer fruit crumble

Serves 4

The crumble clearly isn't a dessert designed for the summer months, but if you are facing a plethora of berries from your garden or just got carried away at the pick your own, you should have a back up idea for your surplus. The secret of every good fruit crumble is in the lightness of the topping, whatever you do, do not press the mixture down on the base or it will absorb all the juice and become stodgy and heavy.

125g plain flour
25g unsalted butter
25g caster sugar
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
100g fresh strawberries, finely sliced
1 large peach
4 tblsp caster sugar
40ml Cointreau or Triple Sec
250g fresh raspberries
25g toasted flaked almonds

First make the crumble. Place the flour and butter in the food processor and process for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and process for 30 seconds. Grate in the fresh nutmeg. The mixture will appear to be very fine and light in texture.

Preheat the oven to 200c/gas mark 6. Take four ramekins, layering the bottom of each with the strawberries. Follow with the peaches. Dust each with one dessertspoon of sugar and then pour over the Cointreau. Place the ramekins on a baking tray and put in the oven for 5 minutes. This will create a superb light caramel sauce. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes.

With the back of a dessertspoon, gently press the fruit down into the ramekin. Cover with a generous portion of raspberries. Sprinkle with the crumble mixture, but do not press it down as this will take away the lightness of the dish.

Return the ramekins to the oven for 10 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow them to stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the almonds.

Serve immediately with clotted cream or ice-cream.


  1. why do you pre-cook/caramelise the strawberries and peaches but not the raspberries?

  2. Dear tracy, this really is a personal choice for me, and based upon achieved contrasts of textures within the crumble, the sugar content and firmness of the respective fruits. I don't want the raspberries to collapse into a mush you won't recognise, while I feel the strawbs and peach could do with sweetening up and softening a little first.