Fruit crumble – such a great pudding. Delicious and filling and so seasonal.
I’m not of the view that we always need a pud. And if you’re looking for a weight management strategy then you may be better off avoiding all desserts. However there are times when we all want something sweet after a meal and a crumble is a relatively healthy – and delicious – option.
Likewise for our children: ideally our children don’t come to expect something sweet after a meal. Sometimes, however, it’s nice to have a pudding to bulk up a meal (which means you can relax if you have a fussy eater or if your kids' main course is a bit lacklustre) or for the hungrier child after a busy day at school.
Pick any fruit that appeals (I love apple, rhubarb and blackberries). Cut any large fruit into small slices. Simmer the fruit in a pan over a low heat with a splash of water for 5- 10 mins to soften the fruit and draw out its natural sweetness and juices. At this point you may also want to add a sprinkle of sugar if your fruit is particularly tart (e.g. if you're using cooking apples). When you use eating apples like I did here you won’t need to add any sugar.
Tip: If you're in a hurry it’s not essential to soften fruit first (just make sure the fruit pieces are small enough to cook through when the crumble goes in the oven later and if the fruit is particularly tart sprinkle with sugar).
Spread the chopped fruit out in a buttered dish (see picture) and sprinkle with any of cinnamon, or sultanas.
Top with an oat crumble topping like the one set out below (you can make in bulk and freeze for future use – no need to defrost before use). Bake for about 40-45 mins at 180 degrees C.
Oat crumble topping: Mix 250g in total of a combination of any the following: porridge oats, finely ground flaxseeds /finely chopped (preferably in food processor) nuts e.g. walnuts/almonds/pecans with 100g cubed butter. Then stir in 50g demerera sugar (for crunch!).