Cherry, Oh baby!
There really isn’t any other food that conjures up memories of my childhood like a simple fruit crumble. It was one of the first desserts I learned to cook with my grandmother. We would always make apple crumble and custard when I visited. Some of my fondest memories are of learning how to rub the butter and flour in-between my hands and fingers to create the beautiful crumble topping.
Unfortunately apples aren’t in season yet and I wanted to use the apples from the garden when they are ready, so I thought I would take advantage of the last of the seasons cherries. That was until I couldn’t find any fresh cherries and when I did the price made my eyes water. Looks like I missed the season by a few weeks. But then I thought about it and when it comes to baking I think you can get really good results from frozen fruit, sure not all fruit is appropriate to use frozen and not every dish can be adapted but sometimes, especially berries and exotic fruit are so expensive that it can make the recipe as a whole just too expensive to bother with. Thats when we tend to give up and buy a dessert instead of make one ourselves.
Cherries especially are expensive to buy and then time consuming to pit. I think with a little extra effort grabbing a bag of frozen and cooking them down on the hob to cook out any extra water is really worth it. In the long run it saves time and money as you can be preparing the crumble whilst cooking down the cherries.
This simple cherry crumble is really simple to prepare and is such a beautifully warming dessert that it is bound to become a firm family favourite.
Of course if you would like to use fresh cherries then thats fine. Just add the pitted fruit, sugar and vanilla to the bottom of the dish raw, top with the crumble and bake as usual.
Ingredients – for the crumble
- 300g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 175g brown sugar
- 200g butter at room temperature, cubed
Ingredients – for the filling
- 450g/cherries frozen
- 50g brown sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the salt and sugar mixing well.
- Add the butter and rub the mixture between your fingers, keep going until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Place the fruit in a large pan and cook on a medium heat until the cherries have softened. This should take around 5 minutes. After this add the sugar and vanilla. Keep cooking until the juices have thickened and most of the water has cooked off. This usually takes around 15-20 minutes.
Spoon the fruit mixture into the bottom of an ovenproof dish, then sprinkle the crumble mixture on top.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until the crumble has browned and the cherries are bubbling.
Serve with ice cream, cream or custard.
And there you have it! A beautifully vibrant cherry crumble. Let me know how yours goes by tagging @whatseatingmanchester in your social media post!