Mulberry and stone fruit crumble

Mulberry and Stone fruit Crumble

As the season of stone fruit is upon us and blossoming at a fast rate, the Farmer’s Markets are boasting boxes upon boxes of stone fruit and the fact that they are in abundance means they are pretty cheap right now.  In season and cheap, I’ll have one of those please.  Last month, a colleague of mine brought in tubs of his very own home-grown mulberries; I got my hands on a couple of tubs and put them straight into the freezer, knowing full well I could not devour the whole lot in one sitting, I hear it is possible though.  With one batch I made a beautiful ice cream.  Following the recipe here you can find the method.

Now, getting back to this crumble.  We were at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, after 2 weeks of absconding, my pantry was looking bleak and I needed to get it back on track.  One of the first things that I noticed as we did our fruit and veg shopping was the amount of stone fruits available, peaches, plums, cherries and apricots.  Enough to keep you in stone fruit heaven for months.  They were practically giving away trays of peaches for $4.

As we are approaching the summer months down under, I thought a crumble would be a fine dish to make.  Crumble always, without fail, reminds me of my sister Denise.  She is the crumble queen in our house.  She always manages to get the right balance of sweet vs. tart and just enough crumble for every mouthful to melt blissfully on your tongue.  I have always thought I could do a good crumble, nah-ah!!  So I reached out to Denise for divine telepathic inspiration to make sure this is the yummiest fruit crumble I can muster up.  When I make crumble at home, I can feel Denise’s inner crumble fanatic just wanting to take over.  She really does make a mean crumble.

This crumble here is a collection of this season’s must-haves when it comes to fruit.  I think so anyway.  A crumble would not be a true crumble without some tarty apples to stir things up, so we have pink lady apples (god’s gift to crumbles), Mike’s mulberries, peach and plums.  In order to get everybody’s juices flowing, we are going to pop everyone into a great big sauce pan with lots of orange juice, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon AND star anise just to make sure they have a good time.  Sounds like a party I would love to be invited to J

To serve this magical wonder, I use my home made vanilla bean ice cream. Similar to the mulberry ice cream just leave out the mulberries.

It is nice for stone fruit to have their moment to shine.  They tend to hide for so much of the year but then boom! just like that out they come all juicy and waiting to be gobbled up. Serious yumz 🙂

Also, please prepare for the blood bath when you start to de-stem your mulberries. They remind me of beetroots.  They cover your hands in this amazing, deep, rich colour and then it just outright refuses to wash off.

Scrubby, scrubby, scrubby.

Some lemon juice later though, your hands should look somewhat normal.  Or be smart and wear gloves and an apron.

Because I like to control how much salt is going into my diet, I use unsalted butter in my dishes. By all means, use salted if you like. That is just my preference! I could preach about ‘in this day and age an’ all’ but it’s better for people to make their own decisions about what they want going in their food. Am I right?

I used the addition of fragrant sugar which is a really simple idea. Light brown sugar with orange zest and cinnamon mixed throughout. I use fragrant sugar in the crumble topping and orange juice in the fruit mix. In my head, the idea was like a song. Using a certain range of notes and melodies as the foundation of the song and then repeating it throughout the verse and chorus.  Or something along those lines, I’m trying to remember the technical terms I learned way back when I could play an instrument and studied music.  Talented, I once was.  Anyways, using the same ingredient in the fruit and in the crumble topping will allow for the crumble to unite and create a powerful burst of flavour in your mouth.  Gob smacked? I should hope so.  Music is definitely like food though.  You should listen to music whilst you make food. It may make the other people in your house look at you in a funny way, but at least you are enjoying the rhythms and incorporating them into your grub.

Makes 4 ramekin filled crumbles

Ingredients:

For the fruit mix

140g mulberries (de-stemmed)

4 peaches

3 plums

6 pink lady apples

50g light brown sugar

1 aniseed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Juice of one orange

For the crumble:

45g unsalted butter

70g oats

50g spelt flour

45g brown suugar

1 tea spoon cinammon

Zest of 1 orange

What we are going to do first is:

Heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Lay out all of your ingredients, weigh and make sure you have everything.

Cut all your fruit up. Remove stems from mulberries, stones from plum and peach and core from the apples.

Place all of the fruit in a wide based saucepan, add in the orange juice, cinammon star anise and light brown sugar.

There will be a lot of juice from the mulberries, so we want to simmer for the fruit for about 20 minutes on a low heat, this will reduce the juices just slightly, don’t boil or over cook as you will lose flavour and goodness. Taste as you go in case you need to add more spice or sugar.

Make the fragrant sugar; combine the brown sugar, orange zest and cinnamon together in a bowl.

In a mixing bowl, combine oats, spelt flour, frangrant sugar and butter. Crumble through your fingertips.

Next, tip the yummy smelling fruits into your 4 or 5(depending on how much fruit mixture it turns out to be) leave to sit for 2-3 mins.

Top with crumble. Sprinkle some butter cubes on top and bake in the oven for 35 minutes at 180 degrees celcius.

Check half way through, I added some extra oats and fragrant rice to soak up all the juices.

Serve with a nice scoop vanilla bean ice cream or custard.

c.a. xx

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