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Swedish berry crumble with vanilla cream

Normally the question in our home is ‘would you like a bit of
fruit with your crumble?’ as we pile on oversized spoonfuls with
extra crumble topping. This delicate Swedish version, a smulpaj,
doesn’t have a thick British wodge of crumble as a topping – it
has more of a lacy crumble, both veiling and concealing the
berry swamp beneath. The billowing clouds of vanilla cream, so
Scandi, make this a lighter option than its British cousin.

for the filling
500g berries, fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon caster sugar
for the topping
50g caster sugar
100g butter, cold, cubed
150g plain flour
for the vanilla cream
seeds of 1 vanilla pod
250ml thick double cream
2 teaspoons icing sugar
serves 4–6

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Scatter the berries into a
shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the caster sugar. (The
dish only needs to be about 1cm deep at most; I use a white
ceramic one that is about 20cm x 20cm.) Set aside.
Combine the topping ingredients in a food processor (or in a
mixing bowl) and pulse (or rub) until the mixture forms a rubbly
crumble. Scatter the crumble mixture over the fruit, allowing
tantalizing glimpses of fruit to show through in places. Bake in the
oven for 25–35 minutes.
While the crumble is cooking, make the vanilla cream by stirring
the vanilla and sugar into the cream and whisking to slightly
aerate. Unless the kitchen is obscenely hot, I keep this on the
counter until needed, to allow the vanilla to infuse the cream.
Serve with the crumble; don’t be mean with the vanilla cream. Is
that a rhyming couplet, or the beginning of a rap?

 

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