Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Golden-green treasure

I love a good crumble, me. It’s the kind of comfort food that evokes autumn/winter evenings, curled up cosily inside the house while the weather gets a bit nippy. Forget the fact that we seem to be going through an Indian summer – it’s September, darn it, it’s supposed to be getting a bit chilly and I want crumble. (Let’s ignore the fact that my last recipe post was about frozen yogurt. I've never claim consistency in my food moods.)

Enter the humble greengage, the smaller, greener cousin to the plum.

I’d never cooked with greengages before but when I saw a bag at the farmers’ market last week, I snapped them up straight away, excited by the prospect of more seasonal bounty. But, as the story often goes with new (to me) ingredients, I wasn’t sure exactly what to make once I’d hauled them home. However, leafing through Nigel Slater's The Kitchen Diaries I found the perfect solution - both in terms of what to do with my greengage haul and how I could satisfy my desire for crumble. I love it when a plan (accidentally) comes together.

There were enough greengages for about half the recipe, so I topped up the rest with plums - which is why the crumble in the pic below looks more reddy-purple than green. But it tasted pretty good, just the same.

Almond, greengage and plum crumble from The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater
(Feeds 4-6)

You’ll need:

1kg of plums, greengages or a mixture
3-4 tablespoons of caster sugar (depending on how sweet your fruit is)

For the almond crumble:
120g plain flour
85g chilled butter, cut into cubes
4 tablespoons of unrefined golden caster sugar
4 tablespoons of ground almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark4. Rinse and stone the greengages/plums. Toss the fruit with the sugar in a deep baking dish.

2. Whiz the flour and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then add the sugar and almonds.

3. Tip the crumble mixture on top of the fruit and bake until the fruit is bubbling under the crust – about 40 to 45 minutes.

Cook's notes

Next time I might add a touch of spice - maybe cinnamon (big suprise there) or ginger for a bit of zing.

I didn't have any ground almonds in the house, so I whizzed some whole ones into rubble. This created a slightly more satisfyingly nubbly crumble than ground almonds, I think.


marye said...

it sounds wonderful..I love greengage..but we cant find them often here.

Jen said...

It was pretty delicious - but I think a bit more spice is definitely called for :-)

Greengages are rare here too, so I was delighted to find them. One of my books ('Seasonal Food' by Paul Waddington) suggests they're in season between late July and October (same as plums) but last week was the first time I'd seen any. And if I see any more in the next few weeks then I'll grab them!

scottishvegan said...

I haven't seen greengages in yonks! Something else to look out for in the supermarket! Your crumble looks very yummy :)

Jen said...

Thanks Scottish Vegan :-) I'm also very excited because I found some damsons at the local greengrocer's, so now I'm off to look up something interesting to do with them. Hurray for autumn.