When weeks are dangerously dull you need
reminders of nice things that happen around you, namely
– cheap kids’ clothes
– bones from the 15th century dug
up at the back of your office
– gathering around said bones and staring
at them in excitement for long periods of time
– sugar thermometers
As much as I’d like to share the first four
items of the list with everyone, you probably have normal-size physiques and
you don’t therefore fit into tops for fourteen-year-olds; the bones have sadly been moved
for someone else’s eyes and excitement; and my new sugar thermometer has now
become my most treasured possession joint winners with my blender, so back off.
I am however nice enough to contribute to
the niceness of your week with the below recipe for the nicest crumble. There’s
fresh summery fruit in it and a crunchy crumbly topping with oats and things
plus a date caramel layer that makes everything so delicious and sweet and
sweet things are the best and they improve the quality of your week (life?) a
We can’t really complain after all.
with date caramel
2 apples, chopped
1 tablespoon margarine
50g (scant 1/4 cup) caster sugar
125g (1 cup) fresh blackberries
75g (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) wholemeal flour
40g (1/2 cup) porridge oats
60g (1/2 cup) soft brown sugar
2 tasblespoons margarine
100g (1 cup) dates, pitted
120ml (1/2 cup) soya milk or other
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
First prepare the date caramel. Place the
dates into a small bowl, cover with warm water and leave to soak for half an
hour. Once ready, drain and place into a blender with the milk and vanilla
extract and pulse until completely smooth.
For the filling place the chopped apple, margarine
and sugar in a pan over a medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally,
until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the blackberries and transfer the
mixture evenly into 3/4 ramekins.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and move on
to the crumble topping. Combine flour, oats and sugar in a bowl. Dice the
margarine, add it to the mixture and rub it in with your fingers until well
combined but still crumbly.
Spoon the date caramel over the fruit
filling, then top with the crumble mixture and bake for 18 minutes, or until
golden brown and bubbling. Leave to cool slightly, then serve with custard, cream orice cream.