As cooler (or cold, depending on where you live) weather sets in, it’s the perfect time to start making fruit crumbles. What is a crumble, exactly? Also known as a crisp, it’s an addictive topping of oats and sugar blanketing bubbling autumn fruit. The most simple recipes are very easy, but there are so many ways to shake things up and make the dessert your own. Here are the best fruit crumble tips we’ve gathered from the internet:
Tip #1: Have a good basic recipe
Before you start experimenting with your fruit crumble, you need a solid foundation. Food52 has a good one. First, you mix your fruit of choice with sugar (or another sweetener), spices, and a thickener. The thickener, like cornstarch, ensures your crumble doesn’t end up super runny or watery after baking. Next, make your crumble topping, which can be as simple as just cold butter cut into flour, and mixed with some sugar. Put the fruit filling in a baking dish and top with the crumble. Don’t press the mixture down, just sprinkle it on top. Finally, bake until the top is golden-brown and the fruit juices are bubbling.
Tip #2: Experiment with different fruit
In the autumn, apple crisps and crumbles are probably the most popular. However, you aren’t limited to just apples, and adding or swapping different fruits won’t dramatically change the recipe. Pears are a really great idea. They have a more subtle flavor, but they are really good on their own or mixed with apples. Fresh cranberries come into season around this time, too. You can also choose from a wide range of frozen fruit from the store.
Tip #3: Experiment with different sweeteners
One of the easiest fruit crumble tips we found is just to mix up your sweeteners. Instead of regular white sugar, try brown sugar instead, or use half white, half brown. The filling flavor will deeper, richer, and more intense. You can also try honey or maple syrup. Unlike in regular baking, where substituting liquid sweeteners for granular ones can be tricky, you can very easily make the swap with a crumble.
Tip #4: Experiment with spices
Adding spices to your fruit filling can have a really big flavor impact. Even just a sprinkle of cinnamon can make the crumble more interesting. Other good spices that fit with an autumn theme include ginger, nutmeg, and star anise. Of course, don’t forget a little salt! It helps balance the crumble and prevents it from being too sweet.
Tip #5: Add crunchies to your crumble
If you love a really crisp topping for your crumble, add crunchy ingredients to your basic butter, flour, and sugar mixture. Oats are very common, but you can also try out toasted pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, or walnuts.
Tip #6: Treat the fruit properly
For the perfectly-cooked crumble, be sure to prep and cook the fruit properly. This means cutting your fruit into bite-sized pieces, so it cooks evenly and faster. If you’re using a hard fruit like an apple or pear, they can even benefit from a little precooking in a skillet before you bake them.
Tip #7: Add a splash of booze
For a more grown-up crumble, consider adding a splash of alcohol! Rum and brandy are very good, and they help balance the sugars in the crumble. If you don’t want to add booze, add some lemon juice instead.
Tip #8: Don’t turn your oven up too high
We’ve come to the end of our fruit crumble tips: don’t bake at too-high of a temperature. The topping will get too brown or even burn before the fruit is bubbling. An oven temp of 350-375 ℉ is best. How long the crumble takes depends on how big it is and the type of fruit you’re using.
Whether you’re getting ready to make a lot of treats this holiday season, or you just want to learn some timeless tips for everyday, click here for easy ways on improving your baking.