Cooking Techniques

Crumble

Kitchen Notes

Never was a dish so aptly described. Fresh fruit or vegetables are covered with a crumbly pastry mixture then baked until the juices from the dish bubble up and the topping turns a golden brown. Crumble comes from England, where it’s traditionally a dessert and made solely with fruit. But I find the formula works deliciously with vegetables as well, so I make sweet and savory crumbles.

Basic Ingredients

Sweet crumble topping is made with flour, butter, sugar and sometimes nuts. For a savory crumble, substitute the sugar for your cheese of choice and add some minced herbs. Any fruit or vegetable that bakes well tastes divine with a crumble top, there’s lots of room for creativity –and for using up surplus in the refrigerator.

Easy Steps

Once you’ve settled on your base, fruit or vegetable, it’s time to get the kids involved. Making crumble is a fun and hands-on technique. You rub the butter into the flour, sugar (or grated cheese) and chopped nuts with your fingers until it forms into clumps. Pile the finished crumble on top of the dish. Into the oven it goes.

Tasty Combinations

  • Berries and Lavender with Almond Crumble
  • Peaches (or Plums) with Hazelnut Crumble
  • Sweet Potatoes and Apple with Cinnamon Crumble
  • Zucchini and Basil with Asiago Pine Nut Crumble
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