You know, it’s all very well to start something but you’d think I’d learn to keep up. Clearly I’ve still got room for improvement there. Since the last diary entry, we’ve still been cooking and taking photos and writing things down but I have been rubbish at putting it in some sort of permanent record here on la internet. Oh well. We can all get over it. And maybe one weekend I’ll find it’s too gloomy to do anything outside and everything indoors is as perfect as can be and on that weekend I will sit down with a hot beverage and transpose notes from the margins of cookbooks and the backs of oil-spotted index cards into electronic diary entires.
And maybe I won’t.
But I can start with these pictures and try to carry on, because the arrival of spring has meant the arrival of daylight and that has made photographing food a far more enjoyable experience.
Spring also means there are things that are starting to appear in stores that haven’t just been kept in a cooler for months on end so we can eat them out of season. Berries are starting to appear! And skinny spring carrots! Only just a little, and mostly from Spain, but okay for a tiny little splurge to kick away winter doldrums. And so we had very many things to stretch our single, beautifully sweet punnet of raspberries: raspberry angelfood cupcakes, raspberries on rice krispies (for I am currently obsessed with berries on rice krispies, no matter how childish that may sound) and this: raspberry almond crumble.
Raspberry Almond Crumble
Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
(no amounts listed because really, you won’t need them)
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Start with bowls that are the size you want, the number you want and safe to go in the oven. Fill each half-full with rinsed raspberries. Sprinkle a spoon of sugar over the raspberries in each bowl. Set aside to make the crumble.
In a mixing bowl, start with about half a block of butter if you’re in the UK or one stick of butter if you’re in the US. Roughly 100g, but seriously no need to measure. If the butter is super cold, zap in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it.
Add about two tablespoons of flour, four to six tablespoons of sugar (depending on your sweet tooth!) and one teaspoon of almond extract to the butter and mix or stir. Stir in the chopped almonds, oats and any extra flour needed until it has the consistency you want. I always think it needs to feel more dry than I imagine—if it has too much butter/not enough dry it will be more like pie crust and less like crumble. Not that I don’t like pie crust, but with this I want to taste the raspberries and the custard and let the oats and almond just break up the sweetness. And this is ever so simple to make, so no need to over think.
Cover the raspberries with the crumble and stick in the oven until the raspberries are bubbly and the crumble is just browned. Make custard while the crumble is cooking away. From scratch, I love Bea’s vanilla bean custard recipe. And when I don’t have a full box of eggs in the kitchen to make that, I use the non-instant Bird’s mix with plenty of whole milk and stir in vanilla seeds. Not quite as fabulous but better than serving crumble without custard and hearing no end of it for many, many days.18 April 2008