In our quest for trying new fruit, I made a Breakfast Apricot Crisp a couple of weeks ago, but it didn’t go down that well with the plebs. On the weekend, however, I had a bit of downtime and found some fruit combinations which struck me as more appealing than a single flavour (apple and blackberry, peach and blueberry, etc.) so I reckoned we should give apricot another chance. The combination of apricot and cherry was certainly visually attractive and the crumble had a good balance of sweet with just a little hint of sour. My preference is to serve crumbles and crisps with cream or yoghurt, but crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream would work well too.
Rachel came to help me with preparing the fruit in order to take her mind off a sting on her hand that she had picked up on our walk along the Lagan. We worked together – I would cut the fruit in half, she would twist the two halves apart and then she removed the pips of the apricots, while I removed the stones of the cherries which were a little more difficult to extract. Working with the cherries is a colourful business so be sure to wear an apron or some other protective clothing if you don’t want to have cheerful red splatters on your favourite white T-shirt. Not only did Rachel discover the fun of working with the fruit, but she also discovered that she likes fresh cherries. On her insistence, we bought some blueberries at the supermarket too so our next project will be to bake something with them.
Apricot and Cherry Crumble
Sahel Family Rating: ***
Makes about 6 servings
200 ml plain flour
180 ml rolled oats
5 ml baking powder
45 ml sugar
45 ml Demerara or turbinado sugar
pinch of salt
zest of one lemon
105 g unsalted butter, melted
250 g sweet cherries, pitted
320 g apricots, pitted and quartered
juice of one lemon
70-90 g sugar (the larger amount if the apricots are a bit tart)
15 ml cornflour
pinch of salt
Heat oven to 190°C.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, sugars, salt and lemon zest and add the melted butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Refrigerate until needed.
For the filling, toss cherries, apricots, lemon juice, sugar, cornflour and a pinch of salt in a 23 cm deep-dish pie plate.
Remove topping from refrigerator and scatter it evenly over the fruit. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is crisp and golden brown. Serve warm with yoghurt, cream, crème fraîche or vanilla ice-cream.
Adapted from Apricot and Cherry Crisp recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in The Guardian