Seasonal fruit, seasonal desserts: plum crumble

When you have too many plums ready to pop off the tree, you have to do something about it. Crumble is, and always has been, my answer to this problem.

Being such a versatile dessert, it is an easy solution for the overflow of fruit, especially if you need to kick off that guilty feeling of not eating up vitamin and fibre-rich goodness.

Whether it’s for ending a meal, a snack to keep your sweet cravings content or a quick breakfast to get a good head start of a busy day, this is ideal.

Ripe plums
155 grams brown sugar
245 grams whole grain oats
100 grams all-purpose flour
105 grams macadamia nuts
190 grams salted butter
Lemon zest

Cut the plums in quarters, discard the seeds. If you like a bittersweet dessert, be lazy about it and keep the skin on. Don’t forget: besides being healthier, you are also being kind to the environment by not wasting nutritionally valid pieces of food.

Choose the amount of fruit you think might be reasonable for your crumble. It’s all about improvising, and getting used to being the boss in the kitchen. If you do however need a reference, I usually add more fruit than actual crumble, as this tends to bake, release moisture and inevitably shrink.

Now, for the crumble: coarsely grind the macadamia nuts, mix in remaining dry ingredients plus vanilla extract and lemon zest. With the tips of your fingers, incorporate the butter until it turns flaky. Beware: do not mix it too much as it will turn into a cookie dough rather than a crumble itself.

To plate: fruit first and crumble on top. No need to add sugar into the fruit. It’s sweet by itself.

For an extra special flavour add some balsamic vinegar. This also goes very well with a strawberry crumble. Bake individual ramekins, at 185°C until the crumble is golden and you can see the fruit bubbling on the side of the dish. It should look purple and yummy.

Serve with cozy warm custard on a fresh evening or accompany with sugar-free cool yoghurt for a hot summer morning.

By Megan Melling

Megan Melling’s journey into the food world started in 2011 when she decided to enrol in Cookery and Food Production in Estoril. She was born American, but grew up in the Algarve, so she gets the best of two opposite culinary cultures. She has worked as a cook in Lisbon for the past year and is currently in the process of opening up a gourmet project in Lagos. Check out all of her personal recipes on her blog and facebook page Huum, food for some yummy photos and food facts.

Photo: Megan Melling