Recently, my friend Alice posted a recipe for a stone fruit skillet streusel pie, which looked so awesome that for the last few days, all I’ve been dreaming about is making that pie. I mean it’s an absolute winner, with a mix of stone fruit, a cornmeal pastry pie crust with a crumble topping – how could it go wrong? It looked like it could be my favourite pie ever. And so I dreamed on, but then I woke up to the reality that I’m not really a pie maker. I can exert myself to make various savoury pies but, as much as I like (maybe even love) some sweet pies, I’m just too lazy to make them.
But when you can’t be bothered making a pie, you can always make a crumble, and this crumble could be one of the best crumbles I’ve made for a long, long time. It reminds me of the crumbles from of my childhood which, no matter how closely I follow the recipe that my mum must have used, never turn out as crisp or as light as I remember them. And when you compare the amount work that goes into the making of this crumble, well, there is no comparison. This crumble is as easy as pie, an expression which I think must refer to the eating of pie, not the making of pie, which, lets face it, is always a bit of a hassle.
Since I discovered Nigel Slater’s baked peaches last year, that is the only way I’ve been cooking peaches. But, the beauty of a crumble is you can throw in a few other fruits as well. I had a punnet of strawberries that were past their best, so I threw them in and it gave the peaches a glorious strawberry-tinted flavour. This crumble started its internet life as a Marian Burros’s plum crumble over at The Wednesday Chef. The original recipe uses plums and crystallised ginger, and it looks wonderful too, but what I had was peaches and so peach crumble it was.
If you are up to the task of making pie, you can always make this stone fruit skillet pie or, if you’re lazy like me, you can put this crumble together in a matter of minutes. Then, all you have to do is wait for half an hour for it to cook. Try and let it cool a little – those baked stone fruit can get a bit burny on the mouth if you don’t.
For the fruit
- 5 medium-size yellow peaches, peeled and sliced
- 1 punnet of strawberries or summer berries (optional)
- 1½ tablespoons plain flour
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Scatter flour, sugar and cinnamon over fruit and mix well and place in a 23 cm (9 inch) pie plate.
For the Crumble
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- Scant ¾ cup of plain, granulated sugar
- 115 grams (1 stick) of butter (melted)
- 1 egg, beaten
- In a bowl whisk together dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar.
- Mix egg well through dry ingredients the flour clumps together.
- Place flour and egg mixture over fruit and then pour butter evenly over flour mixture.
- Bake in a preheated oven 180°C, or 160°C fanforced (375°F) and bake for 30–35 minutes until crumble is golden brown.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and serve with ice cream, yoghurt or cream. Reheat slowly, covered in foil in a moderate oven.