I can feel the tension growing as moving day is coming closer and closer. There are still a couple of days left and I have started to go through my stuff and try to minimize my belongings. MINIMIZE? I already know that’s not gonna happen because I am a collector of unnecessary and no more needed things. Actually I love that sense of delight, the satisfying feeling to close a box and get rid off it. My last move had been only a year ago and I still remember the movers standing in my kitchen and shaking his head about my vase collection, not that I would need all of them, I like to put my flowers in a ball jar. I read about the psychological trick to put things like that in a box, put the box on the attic and throw it away if not opened in between one year. Didn’t worked out for me, it had been more like Christmas to look in the box and find all the things I haven’t thought of since so long…
But I managed to pack some old shoes and a useless kitchen appliance (a sandwich maker and waffle iron, 2 in 1, messed up my kitchen every time and the waffles had been very bad) and headed (very proud of myself) to the thrift shop before I would be able to change my mind.
This place is run by volunteers, mainly elderly ladies and as I reached the parking lot I saw there was a crowed in front of the thrift shop. A table was covered with homemade cakes and pies, a cake sale for charity. You might think I am weird but I would love to have their recipes, these ladies are making pies for a long time and I am sure not to find their experience in a cookbook. But I left my stuff at the place for donations and didn’t went over, I promised myself not to go there because I would drive home with some more vase. I still have a long way to go.
My craving for pie let me think about the mango which is getting very ripe on my counter, the strawberries and blueberries in my refrigerator, one thought leads to another and the result of this is: crumble beats pie – always!
A crumble is easier to prepare, faster to make and bake. There are many names for it: crisp, cobbler, grunt, brown betty, sonker etc. they are all the same and at the same time different, for example: some are topped with streusel, covered with rolled crust and others with dumplings. A short ingredient list is what they all have in common. I grew up with crumble (more the British version) and have a lot of experience in crumble eating.
five variations of crumble
6 ramekins or a small pie form, double this recipe for a 9 x 13 inch baking dish
for the topping:
80 g / 1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
90 g / 1 cup old-fashioned (rolled) oats
50 g / 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
90 g / 1/2 cup brown sugar
about 1 handful of chopped almonds etc. (see below)
or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
for the filling:
about 2 cups prepared fruits of your choice (see below)
juice of 1 lemon
Preheat your oven to 200 C / 400 F.
Put the butter, oats, flour, sugar and almonds in a medium bowl and knead with your hands until everything is well combined and crumbly.
Toss the fruit with the lemon juice and place in your baking dish. Sprinkle the topping over the fruits and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes and enjoy with ice cream or whipped cream.
actually these are 25 variations because you can mix and match as you like
strawberries and banana
add crumbled amaretti cookies to the topping
add chopped (roasted) almonds to the topping
apple and dried cranberries or raisins
add ground cinnamon to the topping
strawberries and mango
add unsweetened coconuts to the topping
add white chocolate chunks or chips to the topping