Archive for February 1st, 2010

In the same way that I like to have used up the last of the Christmas turkey from the freezer by the end of January, I also like to have used up all the Mincemeat – I have two versions, one for Last Minute Mincemeat and the other for Suet Free Mincemeat.  Named to mark the feast of Candlemas on 2 February, this crumble is a special fruity treat with a flavour bringing back memories of Christmas. I made Candlemas Crumble a week or so early this year as friends came to Sunday lunch: it was a delicious dessert which was easy to fit into a busy schedule. (The feast of Candlemas remembers the presentation of the infant Jesus at the Temple and also the purification of the Virgin Mary. Candlemas marks the end of Epiphany, which marks the visit of the Wise Men to the infant Jesus beginning on 6 January at the end of the short season of Christmas.) 

This recipe is my variation on an original idea from a Tesco instore free magazine, I think in 2006.  I have altered some of the ingredients and use my own favourite crumble topping rather than the one in the original recipe.  I have recently acquired Ainsley Harriot’s Meals in Minutes, a cookbook by the well known TV chef, which has a similar crumble containing mincemeat and also banana.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Candlemas Crumble
(Serves 6-8)

14oz/410g can of peach slices, well drained with juice reserved
4-5 large pears, peeled and sliced (replace some pear with apple if you wish)
1 very large or 2 small oranges, zest and chopped flesh (no pith)
4-6 tbsp Mincemeat – about half a jar
(if using ordinary mincemeat augment with a little brandy for flavour)
2ozs glace cherries quartered, unless the mincemeat contains these
Crumble mixture
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1.  Lay the drained peaches, the pear slices and  the chopped orange flesh in the base of a large shallow dish. 

2.  Sprinkle over the orange zest.  Mix a little of the peach juice with the mincemeat, along with the cherries and brandy (if you are adding this).  Spoon evenly over the fruit.  Use some more peach juice to rinse out the jar and pour over the fruit mixture.

3.  Cover with crumble mixture: I usually use Oatmeal crumble. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

4.  Bake 180oC/350oF/Gas 5 for 30-40minutes or until brown.

5.  Serve with custard, cream, yoghurt, soured cream or crème fraîche.

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Crumble mixture is a wonderful standby to have ready in the fridge, where it keeps for up to a month (be aware of the date on the butter you have used) or even, as I do, stored in boxes in the freezer in amounts large enough to top a dish for the family meal.  Just use the mixture to top fresh or canned fruit (or a mixture) and bake while you are eating your main course.

The basic crumble is a simple mixture of flour, butter and sugar, listed first below, to which I always add porridge oats.  There are other variations available, for example, the addition of nuts.  As I come across new ideas I plan to post them here.  If you have a favourite topping not included please let me know. My aim is to give it a try and then add it to the list.  Ideas for versions of fruit fillings are suggested further down.  Special crumble recipes may also appear elsewhere on this site, in which case I will try to remember to add a link.

Types of crumble in order of listing below:
1.  Basic Crumble (Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course)
2.  Oatmeal Crumble (alternative: Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course)
3.  Honey topped Oat Crumble mixture
4.  Coconut Oat Crumble mixture
5.  Nut Crumble Mixture
(alternative: Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course)
6.  Stem Ginger Topping (Baking Mad)
7.  Chocolate Macadamia Nut Topping (Baking Mad) can substitute other nuts
8.  Fudgey Crumble Topping (from a magazine, original source unknown)
9.  Choc-Nut Crumble Topping (Sainsbury card Tropical Banana & Choc Cr)
(NB not all alternatives have been tried – see links to online ideas below)

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

(Pear, Apricot & Ginger Crumble)

1.  Basic Crumble Mixture
(Serves 6-8)

8ozs/225g plain flour
5ozs/150g soft brown sugar
3ozs/75g butter (softened, not straight from fridge)
1 level tsp baking powder

1.  Mix the flour and baking powder together.
2.  Cut the butter into little pieces and mix in well.
3.  Use the mixture to top fruit.
4.  Bake at 180oC/350oF/Gas 5

… for variations use the same method to top fruit of your choice

2.  Oat Crumble Mixture
Basic Crumble Mixture but with half flour and half jumbo or porridge oats.   This is the recipe I use most of the time.

3.  Honey topped Oat Crumble mixture
Recipe from an unknown magazine, 1990s.  From memory, an oat based crumble with cinnamon added and drizzled with honey before baking.  Particularly good with apple or apple and sultana.

4.  Coconut & Oat Crumble Mixture
Replace 1oz oats with dessicated coconut.  (4ozs flour: 3ozs oats; 1oz coconut)

5.  Nut Crumble Mixture (untried)
6ozs/175g plain flour
3ozs/75g chopped nuts: walnuts/almonds/brazil nuts or a mixture
3ozs/75g soft brown sugar
3ozs/75g butter (softened, not straight from fridge)
1 level tsp baking powder

6.  Stem Ginger Topping
100g Plain Flour
100g Unsalted Butter
50g Granulated Sugar
50g Stem Ginger in Syrup, finely chopped

7.  Chocolate Macadamia Nut Topping (other nuts can be substituted)
100g Plain Flour
75g Unsalted Butter Diced
50g Billington’s Granulated Sugar
100g Macadamia Nuts Chopped
50g Dark Chocolate Chopped

8.  Fudgey Crumble Topping
40g/1½oz butter
75g/3ozs Golden Caster or Demerara Sugar
175g/6ozs ginger biscuits, crushed
1tsp ground cinnamon

9.  Choc-Nut Crumble Topping
100g/3½ozs plain flour
80g/2½ozs chilled butter, cut into small cubes
40g/1½oz Fairtrade drinking chocolate
25g/1oz Fairtrade Demerara sugar
50g/2ozs Fairtrade Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
25g/1oz Fairtrade Dessicated coconut


Use the crumble toppings on top of a fruit mixture such as one of these …
Apple or Pear are lovely alone or in combination with other fruit, for example raisins/sultanas, dried apricots, dates, blackberries or blackcurrants, plums or damsons, tinned or fresh peaches, fresh or drained bottled cherries.

If fruit is fresh larger pieces may need pre-cooking for a short time, in a small amount of water.  Add sugar to taste, extra tart fruit such as damsons will need extra sugar.  Spices such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg or ginger can be added, particularly in the colder weather.  Pieces of crystallised ginger can be added in place of, or as well as powdered ginger.   Adding the zest and juice of lemon, orange or lime adds a citrus zing to a fruit mixture and I always add lemon, for example, if I am using pears on their own.

Of course, these mixtures can be served on their own, as simple stewed fruit, without the crumble topping.

Serve with custard, cream, yoghurt, soured cream or crème fraîche.

Crumble recipes elsewhere on this site:
(Please leave comments about the following recipes with the recipe at the link given rather than here – thanks!)

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Candlemas Crumble
(pear, peach, orange and mincemeat)

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Tropical Banana & Chocolate Crumble
(banana, coconut & orange zest/juice with a chocolate & nut crumble)

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Blackberry, Apple & Ginger Crumble
(slices of cooking apple, lemon juice, blackberries and chopped stem ginger.  Sweeten with Demerara Sugar or a mixture of sugar and honey or sugar and the syrup from the ginger.) 

Crumble recipes found on other sites (untried by me):
Ginger Nut Crumble – RevisedOriginal versions
Deborajane (One more bite) has posted information on making a crumble using crushed Ginger Nut biscuits, an alternative way of getting a ginger flavour.  This raises the possiblity of using other crushed biscuit types.  (See also Fudgy Crumble Topping recipe above.)

Amaretti Biscuit Crumble
Janice at Farmersgirl kitchen, a site I visit regularly, recommends using 8-10 crushed Amaretti Biscuits mixed with 4-5 tbsp of basic crumble mixture (so two-thirds biscuits to one third crumble mix).  Sounds lovely, especially with the Rhubarb and Orange mixture in the post.

Toffee Apple Crumble
Wendy (The Omnivorous Bear) has posted about a delicious filling of apple and chopped fudge with a basic Crumble mixture on top.  It would be good to try adding chopped fudge pieces to the crumble topping mixture.

Oat & Ground Almond Crumble
Alison (Eating Well in a World of Temptation) has given information on how to cook a Roast Dinner followed by Nigel Slater’s Oat Plum Crumble recipe.  I like the idea of adding ground nuts rather than chopped – the almonds would make this a good topping for apricots.

Ground Almond with Pecans & Pumpkin Seeds
Peasoupeats has posted this topping, originally used on a Blackberry & Apple Crumble.

Various Crumbles at the UKTV Good Food site:
Flaked almond, Pine Kernel & Citrus Zest
Oat, Cinnamon & Pecan
Walnut & Cinnamon

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