I had the good fortune to be in London for two whole weeks last summer. And the great thing about the British summer is its sheer abundance of fresh strawberries! And nothing to me will ever come close to a fresh British strawberry. Where I live, all we get are imported strawberries which are ridonkulously expensive. (Upwards of US$10 per box, and some brands costing as much as US$20!) Plus imported strawberries are always hit and miss for quality. The Californian ones are pretty alright. The ones from Australia are not that consistent. And the Koreans ones (at least the ones I’ve tried) are mostly crunchy and dry despite looking picture-perfect. So on my trip in London, I made sure to have sweet, juicy strawberries every single day while I was there. Since I’ve been back, a trip to the fruit aisle of the supermarket has always been a disappointment, now that I know how good strawberries can be.
Sorry for the rambling introduction. What I mean to say is that the strawberries I get are sub-par and overpriced, so when I buy them, I always feel the need to ensure my dollar’s worth. That means using up strawberries that have gone soft in places and are no good to eat as they are. (As long as they haven’t gone mouldy or black, they’re fine to use.)
Hence, this recipe for strawberry crumble with almonds! A perfect way for using up strawberries that fail to conjure up memories of the UK. (Or great if you just want to have a cooked strawberry dessert!)
So this is another Nigella Lawson recipe. She really has had a terrible 2013, but she made her way through all the crap with class and dignity. I can only hope to have an iota of her composure in public whenever I’m under fire. Anyway, yes, this recipe comes from Nigella Kitchen and the strawberry and almond pairing is a godsend. (Domestic goddess-send?)
My only tweak to the recipe was to toss in a tablespoon of lemon juice. (Fresh preferably, but I used bottled because that’s all I had.) I use lemon juice in my strawberry ice cream to “wake up” the berry flavours, so why not here as well?
- About 500g strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
- 50g caster sugar
- 25g ground almonds
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 110g all-purpose flour
- 75g unsalted butter, cold and diced
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 100g flaked almonds
- 75g demerara sugar (or any coarse sugar)
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F).
Step 2: In an over-proof dish (roughly 8 to 9 inches in diameter should be large enough), toss in the cut strawberries, sugar, ground almonds, vanilla and lemon juice. Stir until every strawberry piece is coated.
Step 3: In another bowl, add in the flour, butter pieces and salt. Rub the butter into the flour between your fingers. (There’s a video of how to do it right here.) You should get a mixture resembling coarse wet sand. Add in the flaked almonds and demara sugar and stir everything together.
Step 4: Sprinkle your crumble topping over the strawberry filling and bake for 30 minutes. This crumble is best served warm with cream or vanilla ice cream.
The ground almonds in this recipe help to thicken the juices from the strawberries as they bake. I’m guessing if you substitute the flour for ground almonds, you’d get a completely gluten-free pudding. (Anyone want to try that out for me?)
Otherwise, I love this pudding very much. But it’s still second place to having fresh, succulent, juicy strawberries. Perhaps another trip to London is in order?