Crumbles are sweet desserts, originally from England, which have made their way onto numerous restaurant and café menus around the world in the past few years. It’s no surprise that they’re so popular, because they are delicious and easy to make.
You don’t need any fancy tools, complicated techniques, or exotic ingredients to make a crumble. If you’ve never tried to make one at home, or if you’d like to know our tips for making the perfect homemade crumble, read on!
What is a crumble?
Before continuing, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what a “crumble” is. As mentioned above, a crumble is a dessert from Britain that’s made with a layer of fruit covered with a mix of flour, sugar and butter and baked. The heat of the oven softens the fruit and makes the topping crunchy, like a crumbled cookie dough (hence the name!).
Crumbles are a great treat when the weather is gloomy, but you can eat a crumble at any time of year! Try it warm in winter, or topped with ice cream or custard in the summer…crumbles are endlessly adaptable.
8 Tips for a Perfect Crumble
There are many ways to personalize a basic crumble recipe, and each variation is better than the last! Here are our tips to make the perfect crumble, every time.
1. Add Flavour to Your Fruit
You can enhance the natural flavour of the fruit by adding spices or liqueurs. Our suggestions include: star anise, cinnamon, sweet wine, brandy, or amaretto.
A few tablespoons of apricot jam and a dash of orange juice are also great if you want to enhance the flavour while reducing the sugar in the crumble topping.
2. Use a Little Cornstarch
Adding a little bit of cornstarch to cut fruit that contains lots of juice, such as pears, will ensure that the crumble topping doesn’t absorb too much fruity liquid.
3. Adapt Your Ingredients
Choose ingredients for the crumble topping according to the fruit you’re using in your crumble. Apples, for instance, are very sweet, so you don’t need to add a lot of sugar to the topping of an apple crumble. If you’re using fruits that are more acidic, such as blackberries or plums, you will need more sugar in the topping to balance the flavours.
4. Add Something Extra to Your Topping
A few oats, crumbled hard cookies (such as Amaretti cookies) or chopped or ground nuts (such as almonds or chestnuts) in a crumble topping will add a lot to the texture and flavour of your dessert.
5. Pre-Bake Your Crumble Topping
A crunchy topping is essential for a tasty crumble. To avoid a moist topping, we recommend partially cooking the crumble mixture before spreading it over the fruit and cooking everything together.
6. Try Different Sugars
There are so many different kinds of sugar, so why not try a variety for a change in texture and flavour? Brown sugar, maple syrup, honey…the sky’s the limit!
7. Always Add the Butter Last
When mixing crumble ingredients, always add the butter last – it should be diced and cold from the fridge. Use your fingertips to blend it into the dry ingredients, working quickly to avoid overheating the mixture (just as you would for making pie dough), so the “crumble” effect will stay intact.
8. Balance The Fruits and the Topping
You might think this is obvious, but balance is essential in a good crumble! Make sure that the quantity of topping isn’t too much or too little for the fruit you have on hand.
Our Recipe For Apple and Granola Crumble
Now that you’re a crumble expert, you can put your knowledge to the test with our recipe for an apple crumble topped with Vitality Grand Granola.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking: 35 minutes
- 2 lbs of apples
- ¾ cup of unsalted butter
- ½ cup of cane sugar or caster sugar
- ¾ cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups of granola Essential Grand Granola
- 1 lemon juice
- 4 tbsp. of maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour a pan.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cane sugar and Essential Grand Granola.
- Add sliced butter, mix and rub it in your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
- Peel and core the apples, then quarter and cut in to chunks.
- Put them in a dish and pour the lemon juice and the maple syrup.
- Cover the apples with the crumble mixture.
- Bake for around 35 minutes.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes, serve with plain yogurt or sour cream !