I am a final year, sociology student and instead of writing my essay that is due in two weeks, I gave myself the day off and experimented in the kitchen instead (yes I know its bad, but sometimes your brain just says ‘nope not today’). Yesterday was extremely cold in Canterbury, the kind of cold that cuts you through to the core, so while I was busy not studying I thought that a crumble was in order, to warm me up from the inside out.
Crumbles are really the epitome of winter puddings and this Crumble comes together in just under 45 minutes. You may have heard of balsamic vinegar and strawberries being a thing and it turns out, balsamic together with plums works wonderfully too. I was inspired by this recipe by the Unconventional Baker but wanted a more traditional crumble topping. I used a trick I learnt from this recipe, to ensure thoroughly cooked crumbliness, plus it cuts down on the overall cooking time by at least 15 minutes. In my book that’s pretty good going as the sooner I can get food into my belly, the better.
Ingredients (serves 4 small or 2 large portions):
For the Crumble:
- 120g plain flour
- 60g caster sugar
- 60g dairy-free butter (such as stork baking block), cut into squares
- 2-4 tbsp oats (optional)
For the Fruit:
- 1 punnet of plums (about 7-8 plums), de-stoned and cut into quarters
- 50g brown sugar (or sub maple syrup)
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180oc and line a large tin with greaseproof paper
- Begin by making the crumble; stir together the flour and sugar then add the cubed butter and rub the mixture together to create ‘breadcrumbs’, it doesn’t have to be very fine breadcrumbs, I like to have larger chunks for added crunch. Stir in the oats if using.
- Spread this mixture over the large tin and bake for 15 minutes until a light golden brown
- Meanwhile, prepare the fruit by mixing all the ingredients together and putting into a small shallow tin or ovenproof bowl
- Once the crumble is a light golden brown, remove from the oven and pour over the fruit, taking care as it will be hot. Place back in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the fruit is soft (can test this using a knife or skewer)
- Serve with dairy-free custard (such as oatly) or alpro single cream to keep vegan.