Now, call me big headed – I really don’t care, but I can cook with the best of them. You don’t get this far married to a Greek without knowing your way around the kitchen but, and be prepared (understatement of the century coming up) I can’t bake, not for toffee or anything else come to that. My mum however, is famed the world round for DIY delights such as her coffee and walnut cream sponges, fruit loaves and lemon meringues. Never a soggy bottom served at her house, most likely the reason I never learnt to bake; ”neigh bother leave it to your mother!”
So, what? I hear you cry and you’d be right, I’ve spent much my life letting others twist my arms and ply me with their sugary homemade delights. And everything would have stayed sweet and dandy if only 3 things hadn’t happened:
- I married a man that can not only cook and bake but also went to culinary school as a teen and so has a framed diploma declaring so. – Challenge accepted! I mean if I didn’t display a little marital rivalry would I even be his wife!?
- I became a stay at home parent, suddenly responsible for another humans calorie intake and feeling an over whelming sense of pity for my new child who now instead of homemade cakes and pavlovas would be subjected to snack bars and raisin boxes, none of which my husband smugly pointed out can be dipped in tea and therefore by my own cultural standards do not count as ”puddin’!”
- And last but not least: Mary fudging Berry and that stuuuuuuupid cakes in a tent show, which seems to just churn out home-bake-happy mummas by the lorry load – I hate them all!
In desperate times like this there is only one thing you can do and that’s turn to your designated mother figure. And so, with humble being the only pie I know how to bake, I asked my Matriarch if there was any way I could be taught a single desert, a trademark DIY dish that would not only blow every meal time out of the park but that could (like my most favourite pair of Mom jeans) be dressed up and down or restyled through out the year. Her answer: Mumble’s Crumble. – The woman’s a genius!
And so here is how to make My (Mum’s) Summer Fruit Crumble:
- 300g/10½oz plain flour, sieved pinch of salt
- 175g/6oz unrefined brown sugar
- *200g/7oz unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
- Knob of butter for greasing
- 4 good sized apples, peeled, cored and cut into bite sized chunks- most recipes suggest cooking apples but, I especially like to use Granny Smiths
- 1 punet of strawberries (small and British always pack the biggest punch flavour wise)
- A handful of blueberries
- A handful of blackberries
- 1 mashed banana
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- 6 large spoons of honey
- Preheat your oven to 180° C and prepare all of your ingredients.
- Prepare a pan with a glass of water and bring to a boil.
- Once boiled add all your fruit as well as the honey and lemon juice. Stir, coating all the fruit in the honey. Allow the mix to cook down on a med-low heat until your fruit is cooked through and the fluids have became syrup like.
- While your filling cools, begin to mix all your crumble ingredients together. Taking a few cubes of butter at a time rub into the flour mixture. Keep rubbing until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Butter an oven proof dish and spoon in your cooked fruit filling
- Sprinkle your crumble over the top, gently smoothing down with the back of a table spoon. Once all your fruit is covered take a fork and lightly rake the top of the crumble, taking care not to break open the top.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the crumble turns a nice golden shade
The great thing about this desert is that you can change the filling to fit your fancy, why not try pear and cinnamon or pineapple and mango. It also goes great no matter the weather. In the summer I like it cooled and served with vanilla ice cream or in the winter served piping hot with lashings of creamy custard.
*For a non dairy/ Vegan option use coconut butter, which also adds a nutty depth to the crumb. The possibilities are endless!