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1 egg yolk beaten with 2 1/2 tablespoons water
8 ounces apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices (such as Granny Smith or Coxes)
8 ounces strawberries, hulled and halved, if large
3 tablespoons caster sugar
finely grated rind and juice of 1small orange
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons wholemeal flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
1 ounce blanched almonds, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fine pinhead oatmeal
1 oz/1/4 stick butter, cut into cubes
Crème fraîche, to serve
Divide the sugar pastry into 6 pieces and used to line 6 X 4 ” individual tartlet tins that are 1 1/2″ deep. As this pastry is so short you may find it easier to press it into the tins in an even layer, using the tips of your fingers rather than rolling out. Arrange on a large baking sheet and chill for at least 15 minutes to allow the pastry to rest.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line each pastry case with a circle of non-stick parchment paper that is first crumpled up to make it easier to handle. Fill with baking beans and bake for about 15 minutes until the pastry cases look ‘set’, but not colored.
Carefully remove the paper from the pastry cases, then brush the insides with the egg wash to form a seal. Place in the oven for another five minutes or until the bases are firm to the touch and the sides are lightly colored. Remove from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle, then carefully take out of the tins and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Place the apples and strawberries in a pan with the caster sugar, orange rind and juice. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook gently for 5 minutes until the fruits are tender but still holding their shape. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Sift the plain and wholemeal flour into a bowl with the baking powder, then tip the residue from the sieve back into the bowl. Stir in the muscovado sugar, almonds and oatmeal. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Divide the cooled fruit mixture among the pastry cases and sprinkle the crumble on top. Arrange on a large baking sheet and bake for another 20 – 25 minutes until the crumble topping is crisp and golden brown.
To serve, arrange the crumbles on serving plates (warm or cold), and using 2 dessert spoons dipped in hot water, add a quenelle of crème fraîche to each one.
Note: Apples can be replaced with blueberries or rhubarb.
Makes about 1 lbs. 6 oz.
5 oz/1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
5 oz/1 cup plus 2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/4 tablespoon cream
2 1/3 cups plain flour, sifted plus extra for dusting
To make the pastry, gently cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Slowly add the egg yolks, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the cream and then tip in the flour and mix to a smooth paste. Cover with cling film and leave to rest for at least 4 hours or overnight is best in the fridge. Use as required or freeze down into portions.
To use, leave to thaw at room temperature for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge. Use plenty of flour to roll the pastry out on the work surface though this pastry is so short, it is very difficult to roll out. It’s easier to press into tartlet tins with your fingers.