Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Plum and Vanilla Crumble

Just like I look forward to summer for the first taste of British asparagus, I look forward to autumn for plums. They're everywhere in the shops right now, and if I'm ever stuck with what to do with them I always make a crumble. Pick really ripe plums for the best results and the most flavour, and any leftovers will be fine kept covered in the fridge for a couple of days.
 
 

Plum and Vanilla Crumble
Serves 6-8
Ingredients:
  • 8-9 ripe plums
  • 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • small knob of butter
  • splash of water
  • 1 vanilla pod and its seeds
  • 170g butter, cut into cubes
  • 220g plain flour
  • 50g demerara sugar + an extra 2 tbsp for sprinkling
Method:
  1. Wash the plums and run a sharp knife around each one, starting from the stalk end. Put the knife down and twist the two halves in opposite directions so they come apart. pull out the stone and drop the empty plum halves into a non stick pan with the soft light brown sugar, the butter, water and the vanilla pod and its seeds. Heat gently and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200°C. In a mixing bowl, rub together the butter and flour until it looks like fluffy breadcrumbs. Stir in the demerara sugar. Arrange the plums and their ruby red juices in the base of a 30cm wide pie dish. Tip the crumble mixture over the top and spread around so it more or less covers the plums. Don't worry if there are a few small gaps - the juice will just bubble up through the crumble, which is a good thing.
  3. Sprinkle 1-2 tbsp demerara sugar over the top to give a crunchy topping and then bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the crumble is crisp on the top and the plum juices are bubbling up through it. Serve hot, with some fresh custard.
Do you make fruit crumbles? Which are your favourite fruits to use?