I am not a chef, my brother is. I am barely a cook, to tell you the truth, and I am one of those people that needs recipes. I like recipes too, I like the whole ritual of it all. I leaf through the book, finding the one I want to make, then go shopping for the ingredients, get them all set up and then take my time to make sure I do all the steps correctly. Once I've mastered a certain dish I might play around with it, add or subtract ingredients to make it my own, but for the most part I am a recipe follower and I have no shame in admitting that. When I first had kids I didn't know how to cook much, especially kid friendly food. My mother found this little British recipe book and I just adore it. The dishes are all simple and wholesome, easy to make and palatable for little ones. My favorite recipe is the Pear, Apple and Raspberry Crumble. I have adapted this to suit our own taste (no raspberries) and I do add rhubarb when I can get it at my father's farm or the farmers' market.
For this recipe, I bought all of the ingredients at Healthy Living Market and Cafe, they had some gorgeous organic pears and I adore their bulk section, I scooped out some fresh brown sugar, flour and oats. What is great about their bulk section is you can get as much or as little as you need, and it is also really affordable. The heavy cream and butter were from Healthy Living Market and Cafe as well, and I feel like using good quality butter (Kate's butter is delicious) and cream really make a huge difference in this simple recipe.
- three apples, peeled and chopped (use one less apple if adding rhubarb or berries)
- two ripe pears, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
for the crumble topping:
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 8 ounces of cold butter, cut into small pieces (make SURE it is cold butter, not softened)
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup of oats
For the crumble, mix together the flour and salt and rub in the butter with your fingers to resemble large breadcrumbs. There is a little bit of a simple technique with the crumble. Start gently, trying not to smush the tiny cubes of butter but rather coat them all with the butter, separating the cubes so they don't turn into bigger clumps. At first it won't turn very crumbly, but you just have to keep at it, gently rubbing the crumbs in your hands. I usually push a handful together in between my hands and then separate them again and just when you feel like this mixture will NEVER become crumbs, viola! It will all start coming together nicely (this makes it sound much more tedious than it is, it really only takes about five to ten minutes, the important thing is to not give up when it doesn't look crumby yet).
This is when you add in the brown sugar and the oats, again gently, keeping the crumbs nice and crumby. Spoon the crumbs over the top of the fruit mixture and bake for about 30-35 minutes, the crumb topping should be nice and golden brown but not too brown, and the fruit should be bubbling up nicely around the edges.
For the whipped cream, start with two cups of cold heavy cream and add two tablespoons of sugar, a dash of vanilla if you'd like. Start whipping it with a hand mixer on high for a few minutes, tasting as you go along. I prefer my whipped cream not too sweet, but you can add as much sugar as you'd like (slowly, add about a half tablespoon at a time and mix and taste in between). Beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Lick the beaters or hand them off to eager tasters (I usually have three small eager tasters and one very tall eager taster who are happy to take them off my hands).
This crumble is best served warm, topped with the whipped cream and some vanilla ice cream as well. Like I said the best part is that you can add in different fruit, this is such a fun little recipe to play around with and highlight the new fruits that come into season. Enjoy! xoxo