You may or may not know but I am partial to a crunchy texture, and I do not handle flaccid crumble topping well. Having not such a specific idea of what I wanted to make for my crumble (other than the crunch), the internet was unhelpful to me with its utter vastness so straight to the Mothership I went and requested the home-style crumble topping. Nutty and crunchy is what I received. Amazing. When I ask “Could I bake the topping on the fruit rather than separately?” I get a very defined Mary Berry style “Soggy bottom!!” in return. We all know how we feel about soggy bottoms (let’s not mention Channel 4 and the Great British Bake off) and for those of you not currently residing in the UK – we’ll just say the reception is poor.
Mumma Beare was also the inspiration behind the added cardamom in the baked plums and I must say, it’s the most glorious addition. Along with the tang of the orange, it is sheer nectar. You can then imagine my complete and utter over-excitement when, having decided to use plums, I arrive at my local green grocer and find not one, but FOUR different types of plum. I nearly passed out with excitement. This was one of those times where a home written recipe works beautifully first time and my gosh is it a wonderful feeling. This one has mother-daughter teamwork written all over it (emphasis on the mother there) and I think that’s why it’s so blooming brilliant.
This crumble topping will work on any stewed fruit and you can swap the hazelnuts for almonds if you so wish. A totally adaptable, dead easy and overwhelmingly delicious pud.
Baked plums with cardamom and a nutty crumble topping
(Otherwise known as plum crumble)
Quantities: Serves 8
Kitchen stuff: food processor (not essential but helps a lot), non-stick baking tray, high sided baking dish, pestle and mortar (or home made crushing device)
Timings: Total 45 mins (15 mins prep, half an hour baking time)
170g plain flour
85g demerara sugar
80g whole hazelnuts
150g demerara sugar
5 green cardamom
Zest of 1/2 large orange
Juice of 1 large orange
Full fat Greek yoghurt (or vanilla ice cream)
1. PREP: Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
2. CRUMBLE: Put the hazelnuts, butter, flour and 85g demerara sugar in your food processor and pulse until mixed together with a coarse & lumpy texture. Make sure you pulse rather than leaving it on full whack to keep some texture and not end up with a sandy lump. Put the crumble mixture on a baking tray and bake for about 15-20 mins until golden brown and crunchy. Stir the crumble occasionally to make sure the edges don’t get burnt.
3. PLUMS: Halve your plums and remove the stones. Chuck them in your high sided baking dish. Weigh out your 150g demerara sugar into a small bowl. In a pestle and mortar, grind up your cardamom pods then add them to the sugar. Add your orange zest to the sugar and mix it all together. Toss the sugar / cardamom / orange zest mixture in with the plums. Squeeze in your fresh orange juice and mix well. Put your plums in the 200C oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the plums are very soft but still holding their shape. There will be lots of lovely syrupy juice.
4. EAT: To serve, spoon 3 plum halves into a little bowl with a few tablespoons of syrup and sprinkle with a good serving of crumble topping. Add a tablespoonful of creamy Greek yoghurt (or a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you’re feeling wicked). Spoon some of the syrup onto the yoghurt for extra wonderfulness.