Friday, July 12, 2013

Rustic Fruit Crumble

At our house this simple fruit crumble is called "Apple Stuff." 





Calling it "Apple Stuff" doesn't mean that it's always made with apples, and since it defies any clear category- it's a rustic throw together type of fruit dessert- we just call it "stuff." You can make this dessert in about 75 minutes, start to finish. At one time I was making a cobbler, the recipe just got simpler, faster, less sweet and less fat laden as time passed. We have "Apple Stuff" for dessert on most weekends of the year- it's great alone or alongside cake and/or ice cream.

There is no dramatic kitchen equipment involved:

  • large shallow baking pan 
  • cutting board and knife 
  • glass measuring cups that are micro-wave oven proof 
  • mixing spoon 
Choreography: 
  • Grease the baking pan (vegetable oil spray is fine, so is butter or margarine)
  • Prepare the fruit filling
  • Prepare the crumble topping and sprinkle it over the fruit
  • Pour 1/4c orange or cranberry juice over the fruit 
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, until the topping (which is sparse) is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling 
  • That's IT! 
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups (3-4 medium sized) apples, peeled and thinly sliced. Use your favorite apple. 
  • 6-8 cups of  any other assorted  fruit, thinly sliced (e.g.apples, pears,peaches, plum, kiwi), halved (e.g. strawberries), left whole (blueberries, blackberries), chunked (mango), cubed (pineapple), etc. 
  • 1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c corn meal
  • 1/2 c oatmeal (quick or old fashioned, NOT instant)
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 orange or cranberry juice 
Procedure:
1. Grease the pan, preheat the oven to 370 degrees (the fruit will need to bubble, but the oven need not be as hot as when you bake pie)
2. Cut up the fruit. Start with 2 cups of peeled and sliced apples and add any other fruit, including more apples. I have found that the best "stuff" always has some apple slices in the filling. I don't think this is because apples have pectin- most of the pectin is in the peel
3. Place the apples on the bottom of the pan, other fruit is piled on top of the apples
4. Prepare the crumble top by melting the butter (or margarine).  I use a 4 cup glass measuring cup, melting the butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds 
5. Add the whole wheat flour, corn meal, oatmeal, sugar and cinnamon into the measuring cup and mix. The mixture will be firm 
6. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the fruit, the covering will be sparse
7. Pour juice over the entire mixture
8. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the top is golden and the fruit is bubbly
9. Cool before serving, this crumble will make at least 8 servings. It's delicious by itself, but can always pair up well with ice cream, sorbet or cake. 

To store any left overs,  cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. It will keep for several days.