Strawberry and Almond Crumble

Adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe. Nigella says you must serve with heavy cream, but I think it is optional, and that whipped cream or vanilla ice cream would work equally well. Also, I made this with frozen peaches & raspberries instead of strawberries and liked it even better.

For the filling
1 lb strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons ground almonds
4 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
6 Tablespoons cold butter, diced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup brown sugar

Vanilla ice cream, heavy cream or whipped cream, optional

Preheat the oven to 400F. Put the strawberries into an ovenproof dish or pan (it should hold about 1 quart) and sprinkle them with the white sugar, ground almonds and vanilla extract. Give the dish a good shake or two to mix the ingredients.

Now for the crumble topping: put the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and cut in the cold, diced butter. You can use a mixer, food processor, or just use your fingers. When you’ve finished, it should resemble rough, pale oatmeal. Use a fork to stir in the sliced almonds and brown sugar.

Pour the crumble topping over the strawberry filling, covering the strawberries in an even layer and pressing the topping in a little at the edges of the dish. Set the dish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Cook until the crumble topping has darkened to a pale gold and some pink-red juices are seeping and bubbling out at the edges. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes: The crumble can be assembled one day ahead. Cover and store in fridge until needed. Bake as directed in the recipe, but allowing an extra 5–10 minutes’ cooking time. Check crumble is piping hot in the centre. Crumble topping can also be made and frozen in resealable plastic bags for up to 3 months. Sprinkle the topping direct from the freezer over the fruit, breaking up large lumps with your hands. Alternatively, the assembled but unbaked crumble can be frozen, wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and aluminium foil, for up to 3 months. Defrost for 24 hours in the fridge and bake as above.

BBC: Strawberry & Almond Crumble

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