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There is nothing more dramatic in spring than a tree in full flower.

I posted a sneak peak at some of the trees in bloom and here are some more photos I was happy to capture and share.

So here we are, just enjoying the last fleeting marvels of spring and spending time in the garden. It’s hard to believe that the peonies will be blooming soon. I get a little excited for their arrival and this year the peonies are towering giants.

Today’s recipe is for a strawberry-rhubarb crumble, one that is easily made gluten free and as always delicious to eat. I have a tender love for crumbles as they remind me of spring. Later on when summer fruits are ripe for the picking, there will be more.

The raspberries, blackberries and peaches. All are delicious in such a simple dessert.

When I first made these crumbles they were too irresistible to wait for preparing a blog post. More and more where made. It seemed that every day, another batch was made.

Perfect with ice cream, J’s favorite and gently whipped cream for me. Our dessert of choice for spring has been these crumbles!

I even snuck a few out for others to enjoy; they returned exited for more. And yes, I did get my cute bowls back. I am a little attached.

Hope you are enjoying the spring and getting a chance to see the fleeting abundance of nature!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble [makes 4 servings]

6 Tablespoons cane sugar

2 Tablespoons corn starch

½ vanilla bean, scraped [discard pod or tuck into the sugar canister]

2 Tablespoons Key lime juice [lemon will work here too!]

2 ¼ cups rhubarb, cut into half inch slices

2 cups strawberries, halved

Crumble Topping Recipe

¼  cup millet rice flour

¼ cup amaranth flour

4 Tablespoons cane sugar

4 Tablespoons butter, chilled

3 Tablespoons unsweetened coconut, shredded

2 Tablespoons sliced almonds

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 375°F.

preparing the crumble:

1. Combine the flours, sugar and sea salt.

2. Cut in butter until a coarse meal forms.

3. Stir in coconut and almonds.

4. Chill the crumble until ready to bake.

preparing the fruit:

1. Stir together cane sugar, corn starch and vanilla seeds.

2. Pour sugar mix over fruit and mix in.

3. Add citrus juice and fold again. Allow fruit to macerate for 5 minutes.

4. Portion fruit and juices in 4 baking dishes and top with crumble.

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until juices are bubbling and topping has browned.

*note: If not going gluten free, replace the flours with regular all-purpose flour.

With the snowfall, I wasn’t eager to complete the last remaining chores in the garden; a few shrubs to wrap and clay pots to empty and store. However, remaining indoors I baked up an apple crumble, gluten-free of course. It has been far too long since I have made anything sweet to share and a better activity than spending a long afternoon in the cold weather.

 

What I love about crumbles is their simplicity and how you can use whatever fruit is in season, or a combination of them. For this crumble I added coconut to the topping and threw some almonds in, which gave it a nice crisp texture. Also, one of my favorite herb combinations, thyme and lavender; I added these to the fruit just to flavor the crumble from the usual spices.

 

If you are not used to putting lavender in your recipes, it is a great flavor, but remember that a little lavender goes a long way.

 

Sweet crumbles we all know and love, but are there any savory crumbles out there? I have seen savory cobblers that look intriguing and delicious. As a side dish for dinner they would be a nice bit of change to the table.

 

Apple Coconut Crumble w/ Lavender & Thyme Recipe

 

1 cup g/f baking mix

1/3 cup sliced almonds, chopped

¼ cup granular sugar

¼ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled

 

4 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored & chopped

            -tossed with 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice

2 Tablespoons butter, unsalted

2 Tablespoons granular sugar

1 teaspoon arrow root powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

3 Tablespoons honey

¼ teaspoon lavender buds

¼ teaspoon thyme leaves

 

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

 

preparing the crumb:

1. Combine the gluten-free mix, almonds, sugar, coconut and sea salt together.

2. Incorporate with chilled butter into the flour mix by grating the butter.

*To keep the butter from sticking, coat the butter with the flour mixture and grate a few times. Repeat until all of the butter is grated.

3. Rub the grated butter into the mixture until a coarse meal forms. Chill until ready to bake.

 

preparing the fruit filling:

1. Melt butter in a sauté pan and add apples, toss to coat.

2. While the apples a gently warming up, mix together granular sugar and arrowroot powder.

3. Drizzle honey and herbs over apples; fold in.

4. Add arrowroot mixture and incorporate.

 

baking the crumble:

1. Place apples in an 8×8 baking dish and top with crumble mixture.

2. Bake for approximately 25-45 minutes until filling is bubbling and top has browned.

 

*For individual dessert serving, use various oven safe baking dishes such as ramekins or single serving bowls. A nice dollop of crème fraîche is perfect for this dessert.

Serves 6-8.

 

*Gluten-Free Baking Mix Recipe

2 ¼ cups white rice flour

1 ¼ cups brown rice flour [Use superfine brown rice for a finer texture]

1 cup tapioca flour

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

 

1.   Whisk together all of the ingredients well and store in sealed container.

Makes 4 ½ cups baking mix.

 

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