Monday, September 28, 2009

Damson oat crumble

Hurry, while the damsons last. Their intense, tart flavour is unique. We're working our way through a compote - damsons simmered in sugared water until very soft, pushed through a sieve, and frozen in a Tupperware container. We warm up chunks of it, and eat it with a little cream or ice cream.

The following recipe comes, as do many of the pudding dishes on this blog, from Margaret Costa's Four Seasons Cookery Book (Grub Street). I quickly gave up the idea of stoning the damsons: most of the flesh adheres to the stones. So we had to pick out the stones as we ate.

It is difficult to rub butter efficiently into a mix of flour, oats and sugar. I ended up with a mixture that looked a bit like roughly ground hazelnuts. No matter.

This quantity served six at the end of a largish meal. It would be about right for four hungrier people.

675g damsons
115g brown sugar
55g porridge oats
25g plain flour
Pinch ground cinnamon
55g butter

Put the damsons in a buttered oven dish, sprinkle over half the sugar, and scatter over about 60ml of water.

In a bowl, mix the rest of the sugar, the oats, flour, and cinnamon. Rub in the butter. Do not worry about the lumpy texture.

Sprinkle the crumble mixture on top of the damsons, and bake in a mark 5/190C oven for about 30 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and the crumble is crunchy.


pablopatito said...


Do you have any experience of slow cookers? Only I've just bought one, and you're my main source for cooking theory.

Nicholas Clee said...

Sorry to let you down, pablo. I've never used one. Best wishes, Nicholas

elwyn said...

Dear Nicholas,

My mouth watered as I looked at your Damson crumble. We were recently in France and one dish which stood out for us was a duck dish served with an individual rhubarb crumble. Your damson dish would marry beautifully with a piece of beef. My family (despite my Polish surname I come from an English / Scottish background) always served roast beef with plum jam and I always thought that was standard fare for everyone.


Nicholas Clee said...

I hadn't thought of this as a possible accompaniment to a savoury dish. But you're right - damsons would work very well with certain meats. Particularly, I think, rich ones (duck, pork), which their tartness would complement.

Anonymous said...

Works a treat thank you.
I put my cinnamon at the end of cooking little more sugar.

Nicholas Clee said...

Good! I'm excited to see damsons back in the shops.