Every now and then the teachers give us a break from pastry making (sigh) and butter and sugar creaming (as it turns out, a 15 minute event when you have to do it by hand, with a wooden spoon) and allow us make something so simple, so quick, so easy that you start to wonder whether there's a catch. Of course there is. You realize that this simple dish is just one component of the two hour cooking-morning which also consists of a roast pork with gravy, applesauce, roast parsnips and roast potatoes, French beans, carrot batons and crème Anglaise. And those carrot batons better be perfect.
Luckily, the morning went much smoother than expected and we were able to enjoy a truly incredible lunch. Being weird, what I took away from it was that I really, really like roast parsnips and that crumbles should be made more often. Because they are indeed a cinch to make and turn out wonderfully with almost any fruit you have on hand. Being autumn, we opted for pears, apples and, strangely, also blackberries. I thought any decent blackberries were long gone. I was wrong, they were delicious and my favorite part of the crumble, along with the chopped hazelnuts which added an extra crunch and depth of flavor.
This was one of the few things that didn't make it home with me - it was just too good to last. In fact, I was finishing it as I received a text from my roommate (and rent payer) asking whether I was bringing home any food. I felt a bit guilty, so when I spotted a beautiful little carton of blackberries in this wonderful little shop two days ago, I knew what I had to do.* And when you spot some as well, you should know too.
*Totally also made this for me, I'm not that nice.
Autumn crumble with pears, apples, blackberries and a hazelnut topping
Of course, you don't need to wait to spot some blackberries, you can use any fruit you'd like.
3 pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
granulated sugar for tossing
1 carton of blackberries (around 100-150g)
170g // slightly over 1 1/2 cups of plain flour
pinch of salt
110g // 8 tablespoons of butter
55g // 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
55g // 1/4 cup of demerara sugar
85g // 2/3 cup of whole skinless hazelnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 200°C // 390°F.
Sift together flour and salt, rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Mix in sugars and hazelnuts.
Toss fruit with some granulated sugar and lay the fruit into a large baking dish or in individual ramekins.
Sprinkle crumb mixture over fruit and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the fruit has softened and the topping is slightly bronwed.
Enjoy warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!