Quick and simple, a crumble is a great way to showcase seasonal fruit. Having a couple of solid streusel recipes in your repertoire makes it easy to throw together a fresh, home made dessert using whatever fruits you find that at the market. You don’t really need a recipe for the fruit, just prepare based on the flavor of the fruit. If it’s tart add more sugar. If the fruit is naturally sweet add less. Tasting as you go is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you wind up with a delicious end result. Easy.
For berries and soft fruit I recommend simply tossing the raw fruit with sugar and a bit of cornstarch before topping with streusel and baking. For stone fruit cook lightly with sugar, spices and cornstarch before topping with streusel and baking. For harder fruit, like apples and pears, I like to fully cook the produce with sugar, spices and cornstarch before baking again topped in streusel. This guarantees the fruit tastes just the way you want it to and you can control the texture of the fruit by tasting as you go. Below is my recipe for apple-ginger-cranberry crumble. You can use the same recipe with pears as well.
Apple-Cranberry Pie Filling:
12 Cups Gala Apples that are peeled, cored and sliced (expect about one cup per apple)
2 Cups granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Powdered Ginger
2 tsp Powdered Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
2 tsp Fresh Ginger
1 Cup lightly chopped fresh cranberries
2 tbsp Candied Ginger, chopped into small pieces
1) Whisk together sugar, powdered ginger, cinnamon and cornstarch until smooth
2) Place apples and sugar mixture in a large pot over a medium-low heat. Stir frequently while cooking, making sure it doesn’t scorch. The fruit will eventually give off liquid then thicken as it simmers. Continue to cook until the fruit is tender and the liquid has thickened.
3) Add the cranberries, fresh ginger and candied ginger and stir a few times to combine. Over stirring will turn all the fruit red but don’t worry if that happens, it’ll still taste delicious. Allow to sit on a very low heat for 5-6 minutes to cook the cranberries.
4) Remove from heat and cool/reserve in the refrigerator covered for up to 1 week or until needed. Place pie filling in one 9×12 cake pan or 4-8 ramekins, (depending on size.) Top with a generous amount of streusel (recipe below) and bake at 325 degrees F until golden brown and bubbly. About 25-30 minutes. Serve hot.
Brown Sugar-Oatmeal Streusel:
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Cups Quick Cook Rolled Oats
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
8 ounces Butter, chilled and cubed (2 sticks)
1) Mix together flour, sugars, spices and oats.
2) Using a mixer with a paddle attachment or your hands work the butter into the flour mix until it resembles sand. Do not over mix. Store in the refrigerator up to one week until needed. Great on crumbles, crisps and as a muffin topping.