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Everything About The Crumble

Everything About The Crumble

From across the pond, the crumble has a rich history. Savory or sweet, there are virtually endless varieties of the recipe, for everyone’s taste.
Here’s everything you need to know about making your own crumble, the easy way.

About | Ingredients | Tips | Recipes

About the crumble

Originally from Britain, the crumble is a dessert made of a grainy paste made from flour, fat and sugar. This paste is crumbled above its main binding flavor.
The result is placed in the fridge for a few minutes to cool down.

Ingredients

Flour

flour
The flour can be sieved or not, depending on the desired degree of hardiness.
Buckwheat flour and whole wheat flour are recommended for savory preparations crumble.
In a sweet crumble, it is possible to replace the flour in whole or in part by crushed biscuits, pistachios, almonds, coconut powder, chocolate chips, etc.
Granola and oatmeal are also suitable for both sweet and savory recipes. If using them for savory, they can be enriched with feta cheese, Parmesan, dried fruits, or breadcrumbs.

Fat

butter
The fatty component of the crumble should be firm, but still pliable.
Salted or unsalted butter is the ideal ingredient.
You can use softer butter, easier to spread, as long as it is at least 41% fat. Anything below that, and it won’t handle the cooking process.
Margarine and other butter alternatives can also work in most cases.
As for olive oil, it is a great choice, but only as an aromatic addition.

Sugar

sugar
Conventional powdered sugar is the most used when it comes to crumble.
Flavored sugar (e.g. vanilla) can also work well with some fruit crumbles, primarily pears.
Brown sugar can add color and an exotic touch to your dessert.

Tips

Here are some general tips for the perfect crumble.

Preparation
  • When creating a fruit or vegetable-based crumble, take care of them first. Remove the seeds, pit, and remove any hard parts of the fruits or vegetables.
  • Beware of aqueous and water-heavy varieties such as plums or zucchini. They tend to soften the crumble’s crust during cooking.
  • If you’re still at risk, here’s a way to avoid this. Insert an additional, very thin layer, between the filling and the crust. It will absorb any excess moisture. For example, you can use some tapioca for sweeter crumbles, or crushed crackers for savory ones.
Cooking
  • A crumble must be cooked rather slowly, in the oven.
  • Moderate temperatures are preferable (390°F/200°C).
  • Thirty minutes should be enough time for the surface to be evenly colored.
Serving & Presentation
  • Sugary crumbles are served either warm or cold. Salty crumbles are usually hot.
  • Dishes best suited for them are fairly high (at least 2 in/4 cm), so as to contain a relatively thick layer of ingredients.
  • As a crumble does not cut easily (understatement), use individual ramekins when you’re serving them for a special occasion.
  • If you’re making a crumble for many people, you can however use a rectangular dish. Don’t unmold, but instead use a spatula to serve the food.

Recipes

Apple Crumble

apple crumble
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (for 6 people):

  • 6 large apples
  • 5oz/150g of sugar
  • 5oz/150g of wheat flour
  • 4.5oz/125g of butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar
  • Lemon juice

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 390°F/200°C.
  • Peel, core and cut the apples into rough cubes.
  • Spread them in a baking dish, pour over the lemon juice, cinnamon and vanilla sugar.
  • In a bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar.
  • Cut the butter into small cubes, and mix by hand to form a crumbly dough.
  • Crumble this paste over the apples, cover them.
  • Bake a good half-hour.
  • Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Tomato Crumble

tomato crumble
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (for 4 people):

  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons of Parmesan

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 390°F/200°C.
  • Cut the tomatoes into fairly thin slices and arrange on a dish.
  • Drizzle with a little oil and salt.
  • Cook in the oven for about thirty minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook without browning the onions. Let them cool a few minutes, and add the bread crumbs, Parmesan and two tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Take out the tomato, and pour the mixture over them.
  • Return the dish into the oven for another twenty minutes.

Once you have everything ready, you can serve your sweet crumble with some ice cream. As for the savory variety, try perhaps some cheese and nuts.

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