It used to be that I waited for the season to come when fresh, green apples are at their prime and their crunchy and sour core is just tempting you to put them in the oven, making up a nice crumble to enjoy with your afternoon coffee. This image takes me to endless Sundays, however, if you realise it soon enough, you get to enjoy any day of the week as special a way as you like it. Or every season of the year, for that matter, treasuring nature’s fruit and honouring your commitment to sweet and sour crumbles that don’t even need the help of ice cream to become irresistible.
This recipe I am posting today is based on my mother’s apple crumble, a baking ritual I have followed again and again for so many years, I don’t even need to check my notes when I prepare it. My belief is that we can never have enough fruit crumbles, so I experiment endlessly! This combination here, however, is probably my favourite. It is sophisticated, satisfying and full of surprises. The rolled oats and granola give it such an interesting twist that surprises you at the very first bite and makes you want to taste their crunchiness over and over again. As for the dash of nutmeg hidden in the topping, just try to imagine how well it complements the sweet and sour plum heart, melting on your plate. I know I said something about not needing ice cream, before, but don’t take my word for it. Have some in stock as you might want to live the crumble experience all the way, as you should!
Plum Lime and Ginger Crumble
1½ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup light brown sugar
a pinch of salt
1 cup butter, unsalted, cut into cubes
1 cup old-fashioned, rolled oats
2 tablespoons “Homemade granola”
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ cup almonds, slivered
icing sugar for sprinkling
For the filling:
1½ kg red plums
2 limes, zest grated
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 cup crystallised ginger, chopped finely
½ cup light brown sugar
1. Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and the preheat to 180°C (350°F). Butter a 24 to 26 cm deep pie dish.
2. To make the fruit filling: In a bowl combine plums, ginger, lime zest, sugar and flour. Spread the fruit filling in the prepared dish.
3. For the topping: Using a stand mixer, or a food processor, pulse the flour, light brown sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add the rolled oats, granola, cinnamon and nutmeg; pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl.
4. Using your fingertips, press the topping into large clumps and scatter over the fruit. Sprinkle with the almond slivers and some icing sugar.
5. Bake until the topping is golden and crisp, about 1 hour.
6. Serve warm, or at room temperature, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on the side.
Serves 8 to 10