The best and worst part about being at home during the week is being able to nap at any time. Also the best and worst part? Being faced with four fabulous little fruit crumbles, one with a big melty scoop of vanilla ice cream and seeing no other option but to sit down with a spoon and scrape the dish clean. Dedicating more time to my blog is suddenly beginning to seem like a terribly dangerous decision. But such a delicious one.
I hadn’t expected mulberries to taste so explosively good when baked. When they’re in season, usually around March-April, I stuff them in my mouth, lick purple juice off my fingers and that’s that. I also hadn’t expected a really simple wholewheat crumble topping to lift the mushy fruit to some other level. Or that with a scoop of ice cream, this super summery dessert suddenly knocked even brownies out of the way. And most surprising of all, that a recipe that came more from the heart than from logic, could churn out something so irresistible.
Mulberries are still available, though the season isn’t at its peak, on www.foodesto.com. The quality and price were both more than acceptable for this dish. They were fresh and sweet and tangy and required no prep because the stems were tiny and soft enough for the fruit to be tossed in as is. I also used up the last of this season’s peaches to add sweetness and flavour variations and the two worked beautifully together. Till apples come back in my life, I’m more than happy with this combination!
The crumble topping is a little wetter than is acceptable, because the last time I used wholewheat flour, I found it could have done with a little extra buttery flavour. So this time around, more butter, less flour, some oats, some almonds and some brown sugar. Try not to break the bottle of brown sugar so that you don’t spend half the morning picking up bits of glass from your kitchen floor 🙂
These little tart tins have been sitting wrapped up since I got back from London and I decided to finally break them out for these. You could definitely make these individual crumbles as a one-dish dessert too. Or double, triple, quadruple the proportions for a no-fuss crowd pleaser.
Whatever you do, do not forget the vanilla ice cream. Really. It melts into the warm crumble topping, mixes up with all the fabulous sweet mulberry juice and adds just the right sweetness. I think I make myself clear.
Feel free to add in chopped walnuts or pecans for extra crunch. You could definitely swap the mulberries for any other fresh or frozen berries, but I suggest leaving the peaches in because they do a little something to the filling.
The whole thing comes together in one sweet, juicy mess, both fruity and nutty at the same time. I wouldn’t blame you if you start to pick off that toasty crumble and eat it as is. But it is rather good scooped up with the cooked berries and peaches. And ice cream. Do not forget the ice cream.
- For the filling
- 200 gms fresh mulberries* (If using frozen berries, do not thaw)
- 2 ripe peaches, sliced thin and peeled if you like
- 1 to 2 tbsps caster sugar, depending on sweetness of fruit
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- For the crumble topping
- ⅓ cup wholewheat flour
- ¼ cup oats, the instant variety is fine
- 2 tbsps brown sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder, optional
- Pinch of salt, if using unsalted butter
- 50 gms cold butter, cubed (approx ¼ cup butter)
- Flaked almonds, chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, optional
- In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the filling, making sure the fruit is well coated in the cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients for the crumble topping, then add the cubed butter. Using your fingers, rub the butter in till the mixture starts to clump a little. It will be wetter than a regular crumble topping, so you won't get the usual coarse breadcrumbs texture.
- Divide the prepared fruit along with the juices, equally among four 4" tart tins, or one small 6" baking dish. There is no need to grease the dish. Top with the crumble, 'crumbling' it as you go. Garnish with almonds, walnuts or pecans for extra crunch.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops have browned a little and the filling is bubbling. Some of the fruit juice might ooze out, don't worry. I found that wholewheat flour doesn't brown as much, so I also turned the oven to the broil setting for a couple of settings to get a little extra colour on there.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then serve, still warm, with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!