Thursday, 30 September 2010

Plum & Cardamom Crumble with Vanilla Custard

I have thing for Plums. So much so, there is a whole chapter in the book dedicated to them, and as the autumn sets in and the world seems to be falling into a slumber the last of the plums can be found in the local farms shops. Yes, I know that crumble is a little old fashioned, but it’s comforting as the nights draw in. By adding cardamom and jazzing up the topping it gives a fresh perspective on this old favorite, and you can further keep it healthy, by using rapeseed oil in the topping. The deep dark plums sit, stewed in sweetness under a light aromatic crunchy topping. For me it has to be served in a great puddle of creamy vanilla custard. The cardamom binds with the rich plumy base and the vanilla floats effortlessly across the top. There you have it ... a delicious sophisticated crumble.

Makes crumble for 6 - 8 people


800g plums

60g sugar

25g butter


230g oats

125g sweetened desiccated coconut

100g flaked almonds

50g sugar

1 level tsp ground cardamom

125ml of rapeseed oil

1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 Remove the stones from the plums. Place in an ovenproof dish about 10 inches wide and 2 inches deep. Sprinkle the sugar and butter over evenly.

2 Mix all the dry ingredients together, and then drizzle the rapeseed oil. Mix really well.

3 Sprinkle this topping over the plums and bake in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes, until the topping is a light golden brown and the fruit is bubbling away underneath the crumble topping.

Wait a few minutes for the crumble to cool before serving with warm vanilla custard or thick cream.

Makes 750ml of custard

Vanilla Custard

500ml full fat milk

200 ml double cream

5 egg yolks

100g vanilla sugar

1 In a heavy based saucepan place the milk, cream, and egg yolks sugar and stir on a low heat, and keep moving this lightly using a whisk

2 Keep stirring as the custard thickens. This can take 10 – 15 minutes so take your time an don’t be tempted to heat it quickly ( .. you will get scrambled eggs!) The mixture will thicken. When the custard coats the back of a spoon remove from the heat.

Note: Don’t throw your vanilla pod away. Wash and dry it and add it to your sugar pot.


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