I don't eat enough fruit. A fresh, seasonal piece of fruit is a wonderful thing but I haven't fully developed my ability to select and promptly eat it. It's not that I haven't tried - probably once a month, I'll pick out a cheap bag of whatever's at its peak or just one or two pieces of something exotic I've never tried before. Either way, at least two pieces of fruit will loiter for a week or more before I guiltily dispose of them (most guiltily if I only bought two pieces of fruit in the first place). Last winter I took up fruit crumbles in a more creative bid to eat my fruit. You may snort that fruit crumble defeats my nutritional purpose, but this is a dual attack of getting more fruit and less after-dinner chocolate into me. Moreover, I've developed some junk-limiting rules for my homemade crumbles:
1. There will be much more fruit than crumble;
2. The layer of fruit may have a touch of lemon juice or spice added, but no additional sugar;
3. There will be oats and nuts in the crumble;
4. Crumble will not be accompanied by cream or ice cream. A dollop of yoghurt is permitted if yoghurt already resides in the house. Otherwise a small glass of milk serves the food-combining issue sufficiently.
On this night I probably only deserved 2 - 3 out of four points for maintaining the spirit of the rules. That's a teensy weensy spoon of mascarpone you see, but I promise that it was in the fridge already, and not bought especially for this purpose! And yeah, I went a bit overboard with the crumble.
Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini fame is quite the crumble lover, and has a number of recipes for it on her blog. I like to use her ingredient weights as a guide, altering the fruit, nuts, spice, sugar and flour type from batch to batch. (Pictured above is spiceless apple, pear and almond rendition.) Rather than rubbing the ingredients together by hand, I take the fast and furious approach of the food processor, which has the nuts, oats and butter melding together most agreeably.
At least four serves of fruit (a 'serve' being an apple, a pear, a couple of plums, etc)
a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of spice (optional)50g flour
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Peel, de-seed and otherwise prepare your fruit, then cut it into chunks. Throw it into a small to medium-sized baking dish. Stir through some lemon juice and/or spice if you want it.
Put the flour, oats and sugar into a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine them. Cut the butter into cubes and add it to the mix, processing a bit longer this time. When you've got the fine breadcrumb look, add the nuts and process until it looks like biscuit dough (some remaining nutty chunks are good). Alternatively, process to the biscuit dough stage after adding the butter and then stir the whole nuts in. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the crumbly crust begins to brown.