Now as we all know, it’s a big moment when I write about any dessert that involves fruit – but this is a huge one!
When I was younger, every time my Mom made a crumble I’d sigh in disappointment as I knew I wouldn’t be having pudding…. The only fruit I liked back then was melon and apple, and I particularly hated cooked apples. Anyway, there was no chocolate in the title, so why would I even try and taste it?!
Yet since my travelling expeditions, I have become way more adventurous with food. With funds being severely limited (basically we were broke) I was kind of forced to eat everything and anything we came across. I came to absolutely love tomatoes, I’m obsessed with courgettes, aubergines and mushrooms, I have around 4 oranges a day and munch on most types of nuts most days.
I also suffered from something called Cytomegalo Virus (a strain similar to Glandular Fever) and a long batch of tonsillitis, not to mention post-fatigue symptoms and iron transfusions intravenously! This for some reason really altered my taste buds – I’ve spoken to quite a few people who have suffered from similar things and they all found the same. Since I didn’t have any sort of appetite whatsoever, whenever I fancied something I had to eat it! For some reason this ended up usually being bananas and custard, rice pudding, frozen fruit and cereal.
So, with these two factors, I came out a new person in 2015!!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Mom’s crumble and force her to make it every other week as a treat. Quote the legend herself “I’ve been making this for years and no two crumble ever turn out the same – I cooked it for an Italian pen friend when he visited England, and I’ve cooked it for our Portuguese friends in Madeira – it’s so simple but it’s always gone down a treat”
The reason I first ever tried it? She put chocolate buttons in the crumble topping 😉
I haven’t looked back since…. And neither will you…. It’s so classically British to me, it tastes like home.
Granny’s Pear & Plum Cider Crumble (serves 4-6)
Fruit: For this specific recipe you can use any types of pears and plums – in this case we used yellow plums, but a mixture of red and yellow go nicely, Victoria plums are also a favourite. Conference pears are really nice and English, but Williams will do just fine. Other combinations of fruit include apple and blackberry, rhubarb, peach and plum: just make sure they are not too ripe.
Cider: We like to use apple cider, but you can use any of the fruit ciders creating a different twist – medium dry does the job best: just make sure it isn’t over sweet.
Crumble Topping: Oats in the crumble are optional – we find the magic touch is chocolate, we started off with cadburys chocolate buttons and now branch out to all kinds of generally milk chocolate bars, even continental supermarket blocks are fine.
450g of fruit (we used 3 large pears and 6 plums)
150-200ml cider (just enough to cover the fruit – and to your taste!)
For The Crumble Topping:
100g plain flour
50g rolled oats
100g demerara sugar
1 ½ mars bar (yes I ate the other half and so can you… of course any other type of chocolate you think will add to the flavour is just fine… work with it!)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Peel and chop the fruit of your choice (when we use two different types of plums we tend not to peel all of them to add texture and colour)
- Pour the cider over the fruit in a pot on the oven-top. Gently cook until the fruit has softened, but not broken up (this usually takes around 10 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the fruit)
- Meanwhile to make the crumble topping, rub the butter into the flour and then stir in the sugar, oats (if desired) and chocolate
- Spoon the cooked fruit into an oven dish, leaving behind most of the liquid. Sprinkle the crumble topping over (making sure you leave no gaps as the fruit will leak out) and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes, or until golden brown
- Serve with ice-cream or custard and enjoy!