Summer is slowly coming to an end with cooler, shorter days and the hedgerows are lined with wild blackberry bushes, their branches buckling under the weight of intoxicatingly perfumed fruit, staining our fingers and mouths purple. Anyway, that’s how I remember blackberry picking in the UK, long ago.
In Colorado we have to buy blackberries in little plastic cartons. They’re big, fat and juicy but don’t quite have the flavor of wild English blackberries. Still, they’re wonderful in pies and crumbles.
Mum used to make the most wonderful blackberry and apple crumble, always served with a jug of steaming hot custard (crème anglaise) but we don’t have the right kind of apples over here to make it just the way Mum used to make it, so I replaced the apples with local Colorado peaches which are at their glorious best right now.
The crumble topping has an oat and walnut crunch and this wonderful pudding is best served warm or at room temperature, along with a scoop of really good vanilla ice cream.
Note – any unused crumble topping can be frozen.
PEACH & BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE
Ingredients for the topping (it can be made ahead and kept chilled in the fridge):
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
3oz (85g) of all-purpose (plain) flour
3 oz (85g) of chilled butter, cut into tiny pieces
3oz (85g) of old fashioned oats, divided in two
3 oz (85g) of soft brown sugar
3oz (85g) of walnuts, chopped finely
For the filling:
1.5lb (680g) of fresh ripe peaches, stoned and sliced
12oz (340g) of fresh blackberries
The finely shredded zest of a small to medium lemon
2.5oz (70g) of sugar
1 heaped tablespoon of all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Butter a large, fairly shallow ovenproof dish. Gently toss all the filling ingredients together and set it aside while you make the topping.
Combine the flour, cinnamon, butter and half the oats in a food processor. Pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the remaining oats, sugar and chopped walnuts.
Arrange the fruit and any of the released juices in the buttered dish and sprinkle the topping over the fruit. It’s up to you how deep you want the topping but I think less is more, so freeze the rest for another time.
Bake for 45-60 minutes until the topping is golden and the fruit is bubbling around the edges.
Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.