Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Strawberry Crumble

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It’s not quite strawberry season yet, at least not around these parts, but there are times when I find myself food shopping and I can’t help but stare at the joyous, organic, red berries that constantly summon my attention with several winks and a price tag that reads “On SALE!” Sales are my weakness. And so are gorgeous-looking strawberries.

Strawberries are possibly one of my most favorite fruit. Although they are available practically all-year-long in supermarkets and grocery stores across the country, when they’re not in season–usually–they’re practically good for nothing. They’re sometimes vile- both crunchy and sour, and lack in any strawberry flavor. Some will disagree about my last statement but I did say usually; there are a handful of companies that do have great tasting organic strawberries year-round.

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When I do find myself picking up a package or two of these glorious red berries that are lacking in the taste department, I most-often find myself baking them. During strawberry season, rarely am I every interested in baking the marvelously sweet strawberries that I pick up from the farmers’ market– I’d much rather munch on them, toss them into a summery salad, or make jam to preserve their magnificent taste for when I need a burst of strawberry goodness during the dreary winter months.

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Although this crumble is made with abominable, store-brought strawberries, the berry flavors are enhanced as they bake under a blanket of ground almonds, oats, and a buttery crumble topping freckled with poppy seeds. You may think that the berries might turn out as mushy, red-tinged sludge, but they don’t. Instead, they are baked into succulent, strawberrily-intense explosions of flavor.

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When the crumble makes its way out of the oven, I try to amass all of my patience and let it cool on the counter for a few minutes before it makes its way onto the table, or into the refrigerator, where I let the flavors mingle for an hour or two. If my patience is nowhere to be found, I serve it straight out of the oven with a scoop or two of homemade vanilla gelato, and hope that the cool ice cream prevents mouth-burning.

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When there’s some leftover, I spoon the rustic crumble into Weck jars and keep them in the refrigerator for midnight-snacking. Oh, how I adore this crumble.

Strawberry Crumble Recipe
Adapted from: Nigella Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
Serves: 4-6

If you are making this recipe at the peak of strawberry season, I’d cut down on the vanilla sugar by a lot, depending on how sweet the berries are on their own.

If you don’t have any vanilla sugar on hand, use granulated sugar or natural cane sugar and a healthy splash (about 1 tablespoon) of vanilla extract when covering the strawberries in almond meal.

Serving this with soft, billowy peaks of whipped cream, or a healthy scoop of vanilla ice cream is necessary when it’s served straight out of the oven. When served cool from the fridge, a glug of heavy (double) cream does the trick.

If you are lucky enough to have leftover crumble, spoon the remainder into small jars and place the jars in the refrigerator for midnight-snacking over the next couple of nights (if you can resist the urge to indulge).

Special Equipment:
This recipe requires 1 ovenproof pie dish (or cake pan) approx. 8-in by 2-in deep (about 1 1/4 quarts capacity). For the photos in the post, I decided to use a vintage pyrex baking dish that snugly housed all of the strawberries; the baking time was still the same, so if you have the same dish, feel free to use it.

Ingredients:

1 lb (about 500g) Strawberries, hulled
3 ½ tablespoons (50g / 1.75 oz) Vanilla Sugar
¼ cup / 25g / .9oz Almond Meal / Flour

Crumble Topping:
⅔ cup (110g / 3.9 oz) Unbleached All-purpose flour
½ tablespoon (4g / .15 oz) Poppy seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoon Fine Grain Sea Salt
5 tablespoons (75g / 2.65 oz) Cold Butter, Cubed
1 cup (122 g / 4.30 oz) Rolled Oats
¼ cup (18g / .65 oz) Sliced Almonds
5 tablespoons (75g / 2.65 oz) Turbinado / Demerara sugar

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400F / 200C / Gas 6. Place the hulled strawberries into your baking dish and sprinkle on the vanilla sugar and almond meal (I simply took ¼ cup of almonds and processed them in the food processor until they looked like sand). Give the dish a jiggle to mix the ingredients a bit.

Crumble Topping:
Place the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt, in a mixing bowl and rub the butter into the flour mixture with your finger tips, until the mixture resembles pale oatmeal. With a fork, stir in the rolled oats, sliced almonds, and turbinado sugar.

Assemble the Crumble:
Tip the Crumble topping over the strawberry filling, being sure to evenly cover the strawberries.

Set the dish on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. When the crumble is ready, the topping will be a slight bronze color and will be blushing with pinkish-red juices at the edges.

Serve warm or cold with generous scoops of vanilla ice cream, a heaping dollop of softly whipped cream, or a generous glug of cold heavy (double) cream. Enjoy!

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46 COMMENTS

  • Sonia@7spice
    April 5th, 2011
    1

    I would love this straight out of oven with big dollop of heavenly vanilla ice-cream! Ah! I can imagine that taste. Poppy seeds in this? new to me. Your preparation pics here are just lovely!

    kamran replied:

    Sonia- thanks so much, the poppy seeds are optional, but I love their look in this. You can take them out, though. :)

  • chicu
    April 5th, 2011
    2

    ‘succulent, strawberrily-intense explosions of flavor.’

    where’s a cold shower when you need one?
    ;)

  • shweta j
    April 5th, 2011
    3

    this looks so yummy. Unfortunately strawberries are not so easily over here. Can i use other fruits for making crumble & would you suggest some ? Thanks a lot : )

    kamran replied:

    shweta j – I’m sure that you could. You can use rhubarb, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, apples, plums, pears… The possibilities are endless with crumbles. I’d adjust the sugar as needed…

  • Rochelle
    April 5th, 2011
    4

    This looks and sounds fantastic! The photos are literally making my mouth water and I can just about smell the strawberry crumble from the description.

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food
    April 5th, 2011
    5

    You are making me drool all over my keyboard. Not too worry, it’s well worth the mess.

  • Helene
    April 5th, 2011
    6

    It’s one of my fav fruit. I usually make crumble with other fruits but should try with strawberries. Love the pics!

    kamran replied:

    Helene – I love crumbles with just about anything, but strawberries are just so… mesmerizing.

  • Mika
    April 5th, 2011
    7

    I cooked strawberries once…
    At first I felt so guilty for ruining them but they were so yummy and delicious…I’ve never thought cooked strawberries could be so delicious…I love the recipe…

    kamran replied:

    Mika- thanks! Have you tried roasted strawberries? They’re totally a religious experience!

  • Joanne
    April 5th, 2011
    8

    I caved and bought strawberries the other day also. I had to! I could smell them as soon as I walked into the supermarket…and that was the end of all my resolve. They were actually quite delicious. But maybe I’ve also just not had strawberries in so long that I was semi-delusional. Who knows. Next box is going into a crumble because this looks damn delicious!

  • Maris (In Good Taste)
    April 5th, 2011
    9

    I am excited for strawberry season also. Your crumble looks fabulous!I a happy I found your blog!

  • christelle is flabbergasting
    April 5th, 2011
    10

    holy miam! Me waaaaant! And congrats to you and the Kitchen Generation for BlogHer Food! ^___^

  • jaclyn
    April 5th, 2011
    11

    this looks divine! luckily, i live in florida, where it’s peak strawberry season right now. definitely need to make this soon!

  • Miriam
    April 5th, 2011
    12

    I just had strawberries for breakfast this morning, I know what you mean about how flirtacious they can be :). Great recipe for a treat!

  • Mika
    April 6th, 2011
    13

    Roasted strawberries!? This sounds totally new to me…I googled it and the idea is fantastic!!! Do you have a trusty recipe, so I can use yours?

    kamran replied:

    I will post a recipe for it. Promise! :)

  • SproutsOfSpring
    April 6th, 2011
    14

    I love strawberry ice-cream, strawberry jam and love to add them to my fruit smoothies!

  • SproutsOfSpring
    April 6th, 2011
    15

    oh i just saw rest of your post and the recipe. it looks awesome

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)
    April 6th, 2011
    16

    I love crumbles! Probably my favorite dessert. I personally love the combination of apples and raspberries in mine. Delish!

    Beautiful pictures, as always!

  • Kate at katealicecookbook.com
    April 7th, 2011
    17

    Lovely! I know that feeling of being drawn to the burst of red at the shops. We’re just clinging onto summer here in Australia-went blackberry picking the other day. I have not tried strawberries in a crumble, but I like the idea-it’s on the menu soon :)

  • Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction
    April 7th, 2011
    18

    This looks pretty amazing… I am saving this one for strawberry season. Lovely!

  • Holden
    April 7th, 2011
    19

    those looks so yummy, your photos are gorgeous as usual! :) its so inspiring to me how successful your writing is, so props from a fellow young cook :)

  • Friday Favorites – Episode 88 | my kitchen addiction
    April 8th, 2011
    20

    [...] I am so ready for spring to be here… The weather has warmed up a bit here this week, but it will still be a while until we have fresh strawberries here. I’m counting down the days, and saving this recipe for a Strawberry Crumble from The Sophisticated Gourmet! [...]

  • Kate from Scratch
    April 8th, 2011
    21

    This looks divine! Thanks for sharing. :)

  • cailin
    April 8th, 2011
    22

    i’ve just discovered your blog thanks to elissa at 17 and baking and i have to say, you guys are amazing. so inspiring! i’m 18, and heading into culinary school next january. i also have a love for writing (though i’ve never applied it to food), so all involved in “the kitchen generation” are so inspirational to me. your photography is beautiful, and your recipes seem quite down to earth despite the label of gourmet (which is a good thing!!!). thanks for the wonderful reading! (:

    p.s. — i also appreciate the fact that you have an entire section dedicated to chocolate <3 haha (:

    kamran replied:

    Welcome, Cailin! So glad to be an inspiration to others our age!

  • --kyleen--
    April 10th, 2011
    23

    I found out about your blog recently and I have to say it’s awesome. Your recipes and pictures are so elegant yet simple.

    Mhmm vanilla gelato… :D

  • Charlottesville Sybarite
    April 11th, 2011
    24

    MMmmm…and we are just weeks away from perfectly delightful strawberries in their peak sweetness, can’t wait!

  • Meredith
    April 11th, 2011
    25

    Now, where’s the Vanilla Gelato recipe?? :o)

    kamran replied:

    Meredith- Coming soon… Promise! :)

  • Allison
    April 12th, 2011
    26

    Oh this crumble looks so yummy. I love the idea of having poppy seeds in the topping. Can’t wait to make it!

  • Katie
    April 14th, 2011
    27

    Sounds yummy. Especially with the homemade vanilla gelatto. Is there a recipe for this please?

  • Kankana
    April 15th, 2011
    28

    I have a berry weakness and don’t even get me started on SALE weakness :D SO, you can imagine how much I am enjoying your dish .. i can almost taste it. I have access to fresh sweet strawberry .. will have to try this soon. :)

  • Patricia Scarpin
    May 8th, 2011
    29

    One of my favorite crumbles – looks delicious! I love strawberries in just about anything to be honest. :D

  • Friday Night Dinner & Dessert | Learning to Like Veggies
    June 3rd, 2011
    30

    [...] would tell you what I did to make this—if I remembered. I followed some of this recipe except I added blueberries and I didn’t use anything that mentions almond or oats. I also [...]

  • Hannah@ Bake Five
    June 29th, 2011
    31

    oh how i adore that crumble. (:

  • Strawberry Pineapple Crumble — Joy the Baker
    July 29th, 2011
    32

    [...] Recipe inspired by The Sophisticated Gourmet [...]

  • Najaah Namdarkhan
    September 19th, 2011
    33

    Hi Kamran, ur blog was my exciting discovery of the week!, every food is described in such mouth watering details..can’t wait to try out the recipes.
    najaah. from france :)

  • Sandyann64
    March 18th, 2012
    34

    Heaven! Easy to make and cooking does something to not quite ripe strawberries, giving them a taste that’s out of this world. Fabulous straight out of the oven with lashings of double cream as advised by Nigella!

  • grace
    May 1st, 2012
    35

    you have totally made my May! Was looking for a recipe for my strawberries and I totally found it! thanks

  • Rebekah
    May 2nd, 2012
    36

    Thanks for the inspiration! I used about 6 cups mixed strawberries and chopped peaches. For sweetener I put 2 tablespoons agave in with the fruit, then 1/4 cup demerara and 2 tablespoons agave in the topping. Oh, and since I am gluten-free I just used oat flour. It was fabulous… very well received at my book club last night. Thank you again!

  • Rebekah
    May 2nd, 2012
    37

    p.s. I was using partially frozen fruit so it took longer to bake.

  • cinzia
    May 19th, 2012
    38

    ottimo dolce veloce, che ispira anche i palati più prestigiosi.

  • Peach Strawberry Crumble | Oh, Hey, Jamie Bakes
    April 2nd, 2014
    39

    […] inspired by The sophisticated gourmet […]

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