Thursday, April 19, 2007

“All our hopes, our dreams they all crumble and fall away…”

Now wait a minute! Crumble? Are you sure we are talking about the same ‘crumble’?!?

We are sure e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e knows crumbles, or has at least once in his life made one.

A crumble is a very popular British dish made of fruits covered with a crumbly mixture of butter, flour, and sugar instead of pastry. Its particularity is that it has no bottom crust unlike normal pies.

The crumble is baked in an oven until the topping is crisp. Once cooked, it takes on a crumbly texture which gives its name to the dish. You can serve it with custard, cream or ice cream as a warm dessert. It tastes jubiliciously lovely when accompanied by a cup of Twinings Prince of Wales tea.

The traditional recipe consists of flour, butter and sugar mixed together but there are many variations. The topping may also include rolled oats, broken biscuits, ground almonds or other nuts. Some people add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger to give their crumble a more extravagant taste. You can also sprinkle brown sugar on it to get a caramelized top. Popular fruits used in crumbles include apple, blackberry, peach, rhubarb, strawberry and plum. But you can also use more exotic fruits like papaya and mango.

Originally, crumble was a low-cost dessert replacing traditional pies. In fact, during World War II in Britain, women had to cope with a strict rationing of the necessary ingredients required to make the bases of pies. So they created a new recipe based on a simple mixture of flour, margarine and sugar: the crumble.

In Germany, the so-called ‘Streusel’ comes close to the texture of a crumble. Rumour has it that it inspired the creation of ‘Streusel’…

In some parts of America a very similar dish may be called a ‘crisp’. The British crumble is also similar to the popular American ‘fruit cobbler’, although the topping for a cobbler is generally smoother and less crumbly.

Gentlemen, if you need an easy every day dessert to astound, amaze and render your girlfriend speechless, this has to be one.

Enjoy your crumble!

Séverine & Marine

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