I had leftover unfrozen berries from making these berry bran muffins. They were unfrozen because I was feeling lazy when I got the berries out of the freezer to make the muffins and instead of measuring out the berries I needed and defrosting them, I just defrosted the whole bag. Given my love of berries it would have been a crime to waste the leftover berries.
I could have just mixed them in to my oats that I eat nearly every morning but I was craving dessert and one of my favourite desserts is crumble with any type of fruit going. I love crumble not just for its taste but also for its memories of my Gran who died last year.
My Gran was a pretty amazing person. She was still travelling to Australia from the UK in her 90s and after years of being frugal, she was enjoying her money and flying business class. My Gran had a real sense of adventure and there weren’t many places she hadn’t been. She had quite strong views but I always felt she accepted me for who I was and wanted me to do what made me happy. When I moved to the UK to study to be a chartered accountant, she took me in and gave me a base that felt like home, or rather I should say was home, in a strange country.
However, for all her travels and adventures, cooking was not my Gran’s strength. I haven’t been able to look a rice pudding in the eye after seeing hers. I learnt very quickly what she could cook well. Luckily my Gran just thought I was a very fussy eater. One of the things I loved that my Gran made was a fabulous apple and rhubarb crumble. Every time I make crumble it makes me think of the time I spent with her when I lived in England. I am so glad I made the time to be with her while I had the chance.
This crumble also reminds me of my lovely friend Becky. We volunteered together in Namibia many moons ago. Namibia is a beautiful country but lots of it is desert and getting fresh fruit and vegetables can be a hit and miss event. At least it was when we were there, it may have changed in the last ten years. I still remember getting excited when basil appeared briefly in the local supermarket. I remember Becky resorting to lots of frozen berries to get her hit of fruit.
What more could you want from a dish than some great memories and the added bonus of using up some leftovers in a deliciously tasty dessert?
The recipe is adapted from this recipe from Nigella Lawson for jumbleberry crumble. I totally understand Nigella’s urgent need for crumble. But I didn’t make more than I needed for the leftover berries because let’s face it, I could have a berry crumble emergency every night if I let myself. I had enough berries for two crumbles and so limited my crumble making to that.
To keep the calories down, I went light on the crumble and heavy on the berries. They come out at about 265 calories. And how perfect is it that I had Purple Le Creuset ramekins
to make these in. I only ate one for dessert the first night, though it would have been easy to eat both. I heated the second one in the microwave the next night and it was not as beautiful as the first night but it was still pretty fantastic. The crumble just wasn’t quite as crunchy.
Triple berry crumble. A warming winter dessert.
- 1 and 1/3 cup of mixed berries, blackberry, raspberry and blueberry
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 2 tsp of caster sugar
- 50g of plain flour
- 25g of cold butter, cut into small cubes (I used salted butter)
- 1 and 1/2 tbs of dark muscovado sugar
- Heat the oven to 220C (425F)
- Put 2/3 cup of berries in each ramekin - mine are about 5cm deep and 10cm in diameter.
- Put 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and 1 tsp of caster sugar in with the berries and stir so the berries, sugar and vanilla are well mixed.
- In a largish bowl put the flour, butter and muscovado sugar. Using your hands mix them all together until you have a mix that is crumbly in texture - Nigella describes this as coarse sand.
- Split the crumble mix in two and sprinkle it on top of the berries
- Put the ramekins in the oven for about 20 minutes until the berries are bubbling. I normally put the ramekin on a baking tray to make it easier to get it in and out of the oven.
Note there are affiliate links in the post. I only recommend items I have personally used. I receive a small commission if you click and buy but there is no additional cost to you.