Autumn is in the air down here in Kiwi-land – the perfect time for a fruit crumble. And, with stone fruit in abundance, what better time to make this delicious Apricot, Almond & Vanilla Crumble.
Truth be told, I’ve made it now about three weeks in a row. Each time brought rave reviews from the folks, so while apricots continued to be plentiful, I figured ‘why not?’. And, you don’t have to worry about whether the fresh fruit are overly tasty or not either. The cooking process miraculously transforms apricots from bland and dry (or worse, cottony) into deeply luscious and flavoursome. The only thing you might need to adjust, once the apricots are cooked, is their level of sweetness as they can be awfully tart! Honey is the perfect partner for apricots, so feel free to use liberally.
Don’t get too fixated on following the recipe precisely. Crumbles are pretty forgiving, so feel free to adjust to your own liking. Last time I made it, I added in a half teaspoon of orange blossom water to the apricot filling which was lovely; this time it was vanilla. You can adapt the crumble topping to suit as well. Last week I added rolled oats; this week, coconut threads. I’ve made this version gluten-free by using buckwheat flour, but you can use regular flour if you prefer.
By the way, the yoghurt honey cream is a revelation, thanks to GoodFood.com.au. It’s so seriously good, I could just about eat it on its own. Combined with the fruit crumble, it’s food fit for the gods. Enjoy.
Update 2021: Lately, during the winter months, I’ve been making this crumble using canned apricots (I’ve added instructions in the notes below) and not only is it a quick and easy alternative to preparing your own fruit, it’s actually preferred by the family due to the apricots not being as sour. Bonus!
- 1 kilogram (35.2 oz) apricots (about 20 small apricots). Alternatively, use the same weight of canned apricots and see notes on how to use.
- 25g (0.88 oz) unsalted butter
- 1/3-1/2 cup packed brown sugar (depending on sweetness of fruit)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour (or regular flour)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats or 1/2 cup coconut threads (I actually used both)
- 1/2 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 100g (3.5 oz) cold unsalted butter, grated
- 150ml (5 fl oz) Greek yoghurt
- 150ml (5 fl oz) heavy cream
- Seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 30g sliced almonds, toasted
- Preheat oven to 180 deg C (355F).
- Slice apricots in half, take out stones and cut each piece in half again (so each apricot is quartered).
- Add butter, brown sugar and salt to a large frypan (skillet) over a moderate heat until sizzling, then add the chopped apricots.
- Turn the heat down to low and let the fruit simmer, stirring regularly, for about 15 minutes until the fruit is tender and sitting in its own puree.
- Take off the heat, then stir in the vanilla paste. Taste the mixture to check its level of sweetness. If apricots are very tart, add more sugar (or a dollop of honey); if the mixture is too sweet, you can add a tablespoon or so of lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together buckwheat flour, oats, ground almonds, brown sugar and salt. Add in the grated butter, then rub into the mixture using your hands or a pastry cutter (you may not need all the butter; use only enough for the mixture to start clumping together like rubble).
- Transfer the fruit and puree to a greased ovenproof dish or 6 individual ramekins – the fruit should fill roughly two thirds of the dish. Sprinkle a good amount of the crumble over the top of the fruit.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (360°F) for 20-25 minutes until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit juices start to bubble up through the crumble. Set aside to cool.
- Place all the ingredients into a medium sized bowl and beat until soft and billowing. Place in fridge until needed.
- The crumbles can be served warm or room temperature (they're also delicious chilled out of the fridge). Serve with a sprinkling of toasted almonds over top and a good dollop of Yoghurt honey cream. If the apricots are quite tart, you might like to drizzle some runny honey over top.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting