Saturday, 10 August 2013
Cooking like a Star - Strawberry and Almond Crumble a la Nigella
Strawberries. I do love them, and for some reason the garden has, this year, produced loads! Seems to me that snow in April and the coldest Spring in general for many a year is good for strawbs! Some of them have been luscious, gigantic ruby like jewels hanging heavy, others have been less alluring to look at, but certainly pack a beautifully sweet summer flavour, better than anything I have tasted at the supermarket, where all their strawberries tend to look alike and taste like squidgy cotton wool. Anyway, I used some of the less handsome looking strawberries in this gorgeous Nigella crumble, which was a total hit. If there was a way of making strawberries taste even better, then this could be it, and I think as Nigella says, it might also work wonders on those beautiful but insipid things you get off the supermarket shelf... maybe.
August is the month of Nigella Lawson on the 'Cook Like a Star' blog hop, hosted by Zoe at Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Anuja from Simple Baking. Hopefully this recipe will be a pleasing addition to an already growing and delicious list.
Strawberry and Almond Crumble, taken from 'Kitchen' by Nigella Lawson
My adaptions in red
Serves Lola, Finn, Mum, Dad and one other
500 grams strawberries (hulled)
50 grams caster sugar
25 grams ground almonds
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
110 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
75 grams cold butter (diced)
100 grams flaked almonds (I used ground almonds)
75 grams Demerara sugar (I used light brown sugar)
double cream (to serve)
Actually some of these strawberries look mighty fine! The dodgy ones must be on the bottom!!
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6/400ºF. Put the hulled strawberries into your pie dish, Nigella uses a round ovenproof pie dish approx. 21cm diameter x 4cm deep (approx. 1.25 litre capacity) / 8 inches diameter x 2 inches deep (approx. 1¼ quarts capacity), I use an oval one roughly the same diameter and sprinkle over them the sugar, almonds and vanilla extract. Give the dish a good shake or two to mix the ingredients.
Now for the crumble topping: put the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and rub in the cold, diced butter between thumb and fingers (or in a freestanding mixer). When you’ve finished, it should resemble rough, pale oatmeal. Stir in the flaked almonds and sugar with a fork.
Tip this over the strawberry mixture, covering the strawberries in an even layer and giving a bit of a press in at the edges of the dish. Set the dish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, by which time the crumble topping will have darkened to a pale gold and some pink-red juices will be seeping and bubbling out at the edges.
Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving, and be sure to put a jug of chilled double cream on the table alongside. Or, if you have any left over (unlikely) cover it in foil and bang it in the oven the next day to warm through and then serve with vanilla ice cream. OMG, as my kids say...