Banana and berry crumble

FRUIT crumble in autumn and winter is a great way to use berries, freshly picked or frozen.

This recipe, which uses bananas to sweeten the berries, is inspired by Tony Turnbull in his hugely useful book, “The Only Recipes You’ll Ever Need”.

It contains 250 recipes that cover just about every main ingredient you are likely to use. From chick peas to chicken, from duck to puff pastry, chocolate to salmon, it’s all there in plain language and beautifully illustrated.

His crumble recipe, however, contains slightly fewer ingredients in the crumble and a lot more sugar than mine.

Banana and berry crumble

Serves 4

Ingredients

500g mixed berries, fresh or frozen (blackberries, blueberries, etc)

4 medium bananas (skinned weight c. 400g), sliced into coins

100g butter

100g plain flour

1 tablespoon demerara sugar

75g jumbo oats

3 tablespoons almond flakes

Method

Put berries and banana pieces into oven-proof dish.

Place butter and flour in food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar, oats and almond flakes.

Scatter crumble mixture over berries and bananas. Bake at 180ºC/Gas mark 4 for 40 minutes or until golden. Make sure the almond flakes don’t burn.

Serve with cream, crème fraiche, Greek yogurt, ice cream or custard.

 

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A golden year for blackberries

IT may have been a poor summer for butterflies but it is certainly proving to be a brilliant autumn for blackberries.

They have been ripening over the past few weeks, depending on how much sun they have received. A north-facing hedgerow will produce blackberries later than one that faces south.

The Happy Moonraker quite enjoys cooking and thought you might like the following recipe that uses blackberries. Probably my favourite would be blackberry and apple cooked together but this cheesecake recipe is actually based on a classic Spanish dish. It is much simpler and has fewer calories than other kinds of cheesecake because it doesn’t require a biscuit base.

Blackberry cheesecake

Ingredients

200g cream cheese (organic if possible)

2 large free-range eggs

200ml organic double cream

150g unrefined caster sugar

100g blackberries

20g unrefined icing sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4. Lightly butter a 20cm (8in) cake tin. Whisk together cream cheese, eggs, cream and sugar in bowl for no more than 40 seconds. Turn mixture into prepared tin and spread the blackberries all over the top. Bake for 30 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and leave to cool. Dust with icing sugar just before serving in slices.

Full of promise: an early summer picture of blackberries waiting to ripen.

Full of promise: an early summer picture of blackberries waiting to ripen.

One evening’s blackberry harvest, ready to be frozen or put into fruit salad, smoothies, baking or eaten as they are.

One evening’s blackberry harvest, ready to be frozen or put into fruit salad, smoothies, baking or eaten as they are.

Blackberry cheesecake.

Blackberry cheesecake.

Here’s Tilly the terrier occupying herself with a little serious digging while The Happy Moonraker picks blackberries.

Here’s Tilly the terrier occupying herself with a little serious digging while The Happy Moonraker picks blackberries.