We went to my sister’s house for dinner last week. I had said I would take dessert. At first I had thought I would take some baked goods because they are so transportable. But then I thought it would be nice to make something with fruit because it seemed healthier and lighter.
Flicking through recipes books I came across some recipes for crumble and decided to make one with tinned apricots. I headed to the supermarket mainly to buy a tin of apricots. Instead I ended up at the check out with a basket full of groceries but, as the cashier started to wand them through, I noticed there were no apricots. I ran off and grabbed a tin without much thought as to how much I needed.
At home I made the crumble and put the apricots into a baking dish. I was going to bake it before I left but Sylvia was quite unsettled so I put the crumble into a plastic tub and took it separately with the apricots. So serendipity showed me the ideal dessert to take to someone’s place - or for any moveable feast. Next time I will take the apricots in the tin and the crumble in a tub.
Francesca is always busy but still manages to be the consummate hostess. She offered dips and crudités when we arrived. For the main course she made ricotta and spinach triangles in puff pastry. They were perfect golden triangles and tasted excellent accompanied by salad and oven chips.
Once we had finished dinner, we set about assembling dessert. Before putting the crumble on the apricots we swithered about if we needed to drain the apricots. Fran decided we should ring mum. She said to drain them and in retrospect I am glad we took her advice.
The crumble was inspired by one in Vikki Leng’s Vegetarian Feast that had a cup of muesli in it. There was no muesli in the house so I just threw in some ingredients that seemed right for a warming wintery dessert. The crumble was a great success with hazelnuts and cranberries. I served it with my new favourite honey and cinnamon yoghurt. Fran’s partner John said you could eat this dish for breakfast. I agreed with him when I took the leftovers home and had them cold the next morning. Delicious!
Fran is living in a new house with a huge shiny new oven. I was a bit unsure about how long to bake the crumble because I am so used to my slow and doddery oven. So we were very cautious with time and kept only setting the timer for a short period. Hence the baking time is a bit of guesswork because I got so confused about how long it actually took. Her kitchen has fiercely bright down lights that are great for photographing food.
I have written before about my love for apricots and how as a child I always wished my mum used them instead of stewed apple in desserts. All this summer I meant to do an apricot crumble and am pleased I finally have. It is a shame I had to buy tinned apricots rather than stewing my own. Unfortunately in warm weather when they are in season I have a lot less inclination to eat apricots. But maybe one day I will get into the habit of stewing them for the cooler months. Having this wonderful crumble to look forward to will give me some motivation!
(Inspired by Vicki Leng)
825g tin of apricots, drained
1 cup rolled oats
¼ cup wholemeal flour
¼ cup hazelnuts, chopped
¼ cup coconut
¼ cup cranberries, chopped
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
50 g butter (or margarine), chilled and chopped
Tip apricots into a greased baking dish (mine is about 22 x 22 cm). To make the crumble, place all remaining ingredients into a mixing bowl and rub the butter into the dry ingredients. Sprinkle this crumble mixture over the apricots and bake in a moderate oven for about 20-25 minutes or until crumble is golden brown and crisp.
On the stereo:
Ruby: The Killjoys