A couple of weeks ago a close friend asked if I would like to cater a dinner that her Mum was hosting. Of course, I gladly agreed but soon realised that preparing a 3 course meal for 15 is no mean feat. I decided I would need an extra pair of hands & quickly recruited my husband’s cousin, Amy, to help. You can see a photo of us decked out in our cooking finery above.
Amy comes from a family of simply excellent cooks. Early on, whenever I was invited over for meals I would take note of the beautifully laid tables, perfectly planned menus & attentive hosting & vowed to one day emulate their style in my own home.
My first few stabs at entertaining were nothing short of disastrous; I tried to make something like THIS & burnt the breadcrumbs, I served Asparagus so overcooked it no longer resembled its namesake & I once kept people waiting an hour in between their starter & main course due to unforeseen problems thawing a frozen fish-pie. But none of these failures haunt me more than the time I mistakenly picked up a bag of bulgur wheat instead of Demerara sugar and proceeded to use it in a crumble. In spite of the unusually crunchy texture, our guests insisted on eating the dessert anyway, although I’m positive this was just a polite attempt to save my embarrassment.
A good few years on & I am happy to report that mishaps like these are far and few between. Our dinner went swimmingly & Amy & I were particularly happy with the crumble (bulgur wheat free) for which you can find the recipe below.
4 large cooking apples; peeled, cored & diced into 2/3cm cubes // 200g blueberries // 200g raspberries // 150g plain flour // 160g soft light brown sugar // 110g unsalted butter; diced // 110g ground almonds // 75g flaked almonds
Mix the fruit in a large bowl with 50g of the sugar & transfer to your baking dish (we used individual ramekins & dolloped a scoop of ice cream on top when serving.)
Next, put the flour & butter into a large bowl & lightly rub together with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs (you can also do this in a food processor). Add the remaining sugar & all the almonds & mix well.
Evenly sprinkle the crumble topping over your fruit & pop into a preheated oven at 175° to cook for around 40-45 minutes, until you can stick a knife through the crumble and the fruit is completely soft.
As always, do make sure to check on the crumble every so often to make sure it’s not burning!
S-O-T-H TIP: I tend to double the crumble quantity so I can keep half in the freezer for next time. It keeps for yonks & means next time you can prepare dessert in mere minutes.