I wasn’t the type of person who kept frozen fruits in the freezer. A firm believer of eating everything fresh, I just bought what’s in season at the farmer’s markets. Shakes or smoothies weren’t my ‘thing’ either, preferring to masticate on my fruits and veggies to fill me up because I tend to snack throughout the day. It wasn’t until I lived with a smoothie-loving frozen fruit-stocking partner that I realized what I had been missing.
While I (still) rarely reach for a shock of cold fruit drink, except for two scorching-hot summer days every year, I appreciate those bags of frozen fruits now. They satisfy any last-minute cravings for fruit pies, especially for out-of-season fare. Whenever everyone in our household would have the patience to wait for a couple of hours, I would make pie–double crust and all– or tart, but a quicker substitute for our dessert-/sweets-loving family is this go-to simple crumble. This minimal-effort snack, dessert or breakfast treat requires only these 3 easy steps:
- Toss the fruits in sugar and flour. [I add a pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg sometimes.]
- Top with a layer of easy-mix crumble.
- Bake for half an hour or so. Do something else.
We love having this for dessert and I usually prepare this right after dinner. While it’s baking, the girls either do homework and we’ll catch up on some reading (or knitting) or we’ll play board game if it’s a non-school night. Easy peasy.
I make this for weekend breakfasts, too. There’s no need to wake up early for this and it’s done before anyone could say, “I’m hungry!”. The aroma of something baking in the oven is almost a welcome “alarm clock”.
If you want to make this for breakfast on a busy work morning, don’t fret. Pre-mix the fruit filling and the crumble the prior evening, transfer the fruits in your baking dish and mix the crumble in a separate container, keeping both in the refrigerator overnight. Bake in the morning while you’re getting ready. All set to go.
Going on a trip to the cabin but don’t want to bring all separate ingredients? This is what I did for our family trip last weekend: pre-mixed the crumble (minus the butter) and the almond mix for the filling and placed them in separate containers. We brought fruits and butter on the island and it took less than five minutes to put together before baking. We had this for dessert with some whipped cream and mango goat milk ice cream while playing an intense round of Ticket To Ride – Europe.
Give it a try. It’s no April Fool’s joke, it really is so easy to make!
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp Demerara sugar (or any brown sugar)
- ¾ cup almond slices
- ⅓ cup cold butter, cut into half-inch cubes
- ¼ cup quick oats
- 2 pints of washed hulled/sliced fresh or frozen fruit
- ¼ cup to ⅓ cup of sugar (packaged frozen fruit tend to be less sweet, so use more sugar)
- 3 tablespoons almond flour
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 400°F with the rack in the middle or upper middle part of the oven.
- Mix the filling ingredients (minus the fruit) in a medium bowl, then add the fruits. Toss fruits in the mix.
- Combine the crumble ingredients, except for the butter, in a separate bowl. Add butter cubes and rub dry ingredients and butter between your fingers until most of the butter is incorporated and mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Pour fruit filling in a glass, ceramic or metal baking pan and level. Distribute the crumble on top. Press it lightly to make it a little more compact.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30minutes, or until top starts to turn brown. You can leave it in the oven for another 5 minutes once it's turned off if you like the top more brown.
- Dig in, serve hot with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, or warm with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. You can also enjoy it as is, but make sure to let it cool for at least 20 minutes.