Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Our Most Delicious Idea Yet

Some of my ideas in the kitchen turn out better than others. Some days I have great ideas for something to cook or bake, and it just doesn't work. Every once in awhile, though, we have just the right ingredients and a sprinkling of inspiration, and make something truly, mouth-wateringly extraordinary.

This humble-looking pie is, in my opinion, our most delicious idea yet. So here it is: Plum Crumble Pie.

Pie Shell (I cheated and used a pre-made one)
Plums (We used a nice dark purple variety with firm, sweet flesh)
Rochester Organic Mulled Berry Punch
Ground Almonds/Almond Flour
Flaked Almonds
Brown Sugar
Butter (room temperature)
Vanilla Extract
Flour (You can use wheat or white flour, or even an alternative wheat-free flour)

1. Wash the plums, then halve them and remove the stones (you can leave on the skins). Then cook on a medium heat with a splash of the punch until soft, stirring regularly. [The punch is a mixture of juices and spices that adds a really rich flavour to the plums, but if you can't find Rochester punch or something similar, you can try adding spices to taste and a little juice or water.]

2. Make a crumble topping. You can find exact recipes for this or play with the proportions, but I tend to just start adding things to the food processor and taste testing it. Mixing it in the food processor blends the butter through it nicely without ruining the consistency by making it too smooth. Add about 3 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup oats, 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 tbsp vanilla extract, as well as a sprinkling of cinnamon. Blend. Taste, and add more liquid/dry ingredients, sugar, etc. if needed. Then hand mix in about 1/2 cup flaked almonds.

3. Put the fruit in the pie shell, then spread the crumble topping evenly over the entire top. Bake at 180 C (350 F) for about 1/2 hour.

4. Enjoy! This is delicious served hot with cream, ice cream, or custard, or eaten cold (perhaps with vanilla yogurt for an indulgently delicious breakfast).

The mixture of the almonds in the crumble topping creates an almost marzipan-y sweetness, but it is offset by the spiciness of the fruit. This is heaven in a pie shell.

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