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Food & Drink with Suzanne James

Crunchy Fruit & Oat Crumble (serves 4)

September marks the end of summer berries, but there is still time to get the last of the blackberries and there are lots of other fruits like apples, plums, grapes, figs and pears to be enjoyed too.

The fruits up at the allotment are truly wonderful. Tender ripe figs, with honey nut sweetness; juicy sweet plums with a lovely tart aftertaste; and sweet seedless grapes with a slightly sharp punch. Unadulterated apples, pears and raspberries, all with a glorious freshly-picked taste. I love to wander around, looking at everyone’s allotments and am always amazed by the variety of produce, and growing methods – from perfect rows to higgledy-piddledy planting.

As we move into Autumn Pumpkin, squash, kale, runner beans and leeks make their debut, lamb makes a comeback and it’s the start of the mussel season too.

You should find that the shops are bursting with cheap homegrown produce this month, so choose your favorite British fruits and get making this lovely crumble recipe!

15 minutes preparation time, 15-20 minutes cooking time

Ingredients

  • 2-3 slices of bread (100g/3oz), crumbed (stale is fine)
  • 50g (2oz) rolled oats (or muesli or granola)
  • 100g Butter
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 400g (14oz) any fruit (e.g. 2 apples plus berries)
  • 100ml (3ml oz) fruit juice (we use apple juice, but if you don’t have any fruit juice use a couple of teaspoons of jam or marmalade dissolved into 100ml (3fl oz) boiling water)
  • 2 tablespoons of runny honey

Method

  1. Add crumbed bread, butter, oats and nuts to a bowl and mix well (use your fingers if need be to squash it all together).
  2. Chop the unpeeled, cored apples and put into an ovenproof dish with the berries and fruit juice.
  3. Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top then drizzle with honey.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven 1800C/Gas 6/3500F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Serve immediately with a little greek yoghurt, custard or cream or for real decadence serve with
    a Crème Anglaise.

Enjoy!

Suzanne is a professional chef, wife and mother who has lived in South East London all her life.

In Season this Month

Fruits & Nuts
Apples, Apricot, Aubergine, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Blueberries, Loganberries, Peaches, Plums, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Strawberries, White currants, Cobnuts, Hazelnuts, Quince.

Vegetables & Herbs
Artichokes, Aubergines, Beetroot, Broccoli, Cabbages, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chard, Courgettes, Cucumber, Fennel, French Beans, Garlic, Kohlrabi, Lamb’s Lettuce, Onions, Pak Choi, Peas (inc. Sugar Snaps) Potatoes, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Salsify, Scorzonera, Samphire, Sorrel, Spinach, Sweetcorn, Tomatoes, Watercress.

Meat & Game
Lamb, Rabbit, Venison, Wood Pigeon.

Fish & Shellfish
Black Bream, Crab (brown, hen & Spider), Signal Crayfish, Grey Mullet, Lobster, Mackerel, Pollack, Prawns, Scallops, Sea Bass, Squid, Trout (river – brown and rainbow).

Going out of season
Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherry, Mange tout, Peach, Redcurrant, Strawberries (many of these towards the month).

www.suzannejames.co.uk

This article first appeared in the September issue of SE22.

Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash