Anna Shepard asked how to prevent crumble from sinking into a fruit filling. At her Eco Worrier blog, someone suggests cooking the fruit first: beneath the pie base, many fruits emit a lot of liquid, submerging the crumble. But, as I discovered with my plum tart, the pre-cooked fruit may become too soft. The apple and plum crumble I made yesterday was a compromise, containing pre-cooked apples (Discoveries) and raw plums (Victorias).
Some people like crunchy crumble. I am happy with a soft and buttery version.
This pudding offered modest portions for four.
100 g flour
60 g butter
2 dstsp caster sugar
4 apples, peeled, quartered, cored, sliced, and held in acidulated water
6 plums, quartered and stoned
Cinnamon, if liked
Cut the butter into little pieces, and return to the fridge. When chilled, rub it into the flour with your fingertips. Or whizz the flour and butter in a food processor. Stir in 1 dstsp of the sugar.
Melt the knob of butter in a saucepan, remove the apples from the water with your hands (it does not matter if they are wet), and throw them in. Cook over a low to medium heat until starting to soften.
(The Discoveries I used did not throw off much liquid. Some apples do. The liquid needs to be cooked off, either in the pan if the apples will not break up, or apart if they are fragile. Some apples become mushy; others retain their shape. Mine were somewhere in between.)
Tip the apples into a pie dish, and tuck in the quartered plums. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar, and with cinnamon if you like it.
Spread the crumble on top of the fruit, and bake at gas mark 6/200 C for 30 minutes, or until the top is browned and the filling is bubbling.