Fruit crumble

Next in line for making is vegan fruit crumble, a nice and versatile recipe. Back in my early days of vegan baking I thought this would be a fairly easy one to convert because all that needed to be excluded is butter, and surely just use soya spread? Sadly not – the olive or sunflower oil is too liquidy meaning it melts through the fruit and settles at the bottom. Don’t get me wrong – it still tasted good, but didn’t look too appealing or taste quite as nice as it could do. Then I discovered vegetable shortening (I use Trex), which I’ll talk about in my next post, but to sum up – if you can get hold of it, use it! 😀

Anyway, enough of that, back to vegan crumble! You can use whatever fruit you choose (blackberries, tinned apricots, plums, apples…) and follow whatever preparation method you wish, but for this recipe you’ll want:

Enough fruit of your choice to fill the oven-proof bowl of your choice (we use a big 4 litre Pyrex dish because the crumble easily keeps for a week and we like to keep stocked up, but you might prefer to make a smaller one). The following ingredients are to make enough crumble topping to cover the 4 litre bowl of fruit, but if you’re making a smaller size just change the ingredients to roughly fit, but there is no exact amount so don’t worry about getting it right:

  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 110g Demerara sugar + 1½ tablespoons
  • 110g caster sugar
  • About 30g vegetable shortening, depending on how buttery you like it (if you only have soya spread, go for it, but as mentioned above it won’t be quite as good. You’ll probably need about 60g instead)
  1. Prepare the fruit of your choice. For apple, peel as many Bramley cooking apples as necessary to fill your dish and slice into fairly thick discs. Layer these in the oven-proof bowl, and you could maybe add a layer of another fruit such as blackberries between. Depending on how sweet your choice of fruit is, you may want to put in a couple of tablespoons of caster sugar, but we don’t normally bother because once it has been cooked it’s pretty sweet naturally.
  2. Preheat the oven to about 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 (or 160-170°C for fan-assissted).
  3. Separately, mix all (except for the extra 1½ tablespoons Demerara sugar) dry ingredients in a bowl – personally I don’t bother sifting flour for this recipe. Then gradually rub in the vegetable shortening with fingertips until the mixture forms small clumps.
  4. Spread the crumble mix over the fruit, then sprinkle the 1½ tablespoons of Demerara sugar over the surface. If possible, try to then put the bowl on top of a baking tray because the metal conducts the heat to help cook the fruit through properly, then put the whole thing in the oven.
  5. It will need about 40-50 minutes depending on how well cooked you like it (we’ve found it tastes surprisingly good burnt) and is lovely hot, cold, with soya cream or soya custard or by itself! Wow, so much choice…


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