Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No-recipe Crumble

When I’m working I really have to follow recipes word by word. It’s important to have consistency when you’re serving costumers and this is true both in cooking or baking. But specially in baking, often related to science, things have to be really accurate, in order to obtain the exact same product over and over. It’s amazing how a simple change will change the final product, sometimes a “silly” thing as a different type of flour or sugar, oven temperature, whipping time or even a brand of a product. For instance the other day I received a call from a restaurant where I’ve created the desserts and the girl was all stressed out cause things were coming out strange: Girl: There’s something wrong with the recipes, desserts are not coming right… Me: But weren’t they working until now? Girl: Yes… Me: Are you sure you’re following the recipes, you didn’t change anything? Girl: No, I do them the same way always… And it’s not only one thing, there’re a couple of things that are coming differently… Hummmmmm what a mystery… But after she told me what exactly was happening to the desserts I asked if they had changed the cream. They had changed the brand of cream, and this new one has a much higher percentage of fat. Mystery solved! So they went back to the old one and everything was fine again. Anyway back to my point here. I don’t know if it’s because I have to be so strict at work, but when I’m baking at home I enjoy a bit of freedom! A lot of times I don’t use recipes and trust my instinct to eyeball the ingredients. This really annoys my mom, when she wants to recreate something I have made and I don’t have a recipe to give her, only ingredients with no measurements… I’m going to make the same thing with you, hoping you won’t be annoyed! Crumbles can be a diet dessert, because you can adjust the ratio filling-crust to suit your taste or your waist… You can easily use 3-4 apples with no added sugar for the filling and use as little as ¼ cup crust to top it and just give it a special feel you don’t get from eating a plain apple. Also if you’re a carbs person, you can use like 2 apples for 2 cups of crust (one in the bottom and one on top). Either way, there’s no going wrong with this, even without a recipe…



Whole weath flour (or AP, or whatever you fancy)

Light brown sugar (or white…)

Butter (cold)

Rolled oats

Flax seeds (very optional but I like to use it)

Ground walnuts



Ginger powder


Apples (or pears, or a mixture of the 2…)


Light brown sugar


Prepare the crust: in a food processor place flour, spices (to your tasting), salt (a pinch), oats (about 1/3 of the amount of flour) and a little each of flax seeds and walnuts (omit or use other nuts). Pulse until combined. Add the sugar, again to your tasting (if you have no clue add about half the quantity you have in your food processor by now) Now get the butter and add little by little (1 tablespoon more or less), pulse and add more butter until you’re happy with the texture (some like it crispier- add less butter, some prefer it more consistent- add more butter and let the dough bond a little).

For the filling: Peel and dice the apples in small chunks. Toss with a bit of cinnamon and sugar to taste.

Assemble: Get about 1/3-1/2 of the mixture and pat down on a baking dish. Cover with the apples and top them with the remaining crumble mixture. Sprinkle with more rolled oats for extra crispiness. Bake at 180ºC (350ºF) until it’s golden brown.


Kevin and Katrina said...

I think your crumble looks yummy, as I love the stuff on top, often more than the fruit (although, the fruit needs to be there.)
Also a great way to also make "diet" crumble is to just put a few of the ingredients in a coffee mug and microwave it (and/or bake it in the oven) But within no time at all you have a simple little "treat".
Enjoying your blog. Thanks.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Me too, I also prefer the crust, but you're right, the fruit kind of needs to be there... Thank you for the mug tip!