A vision of sunny colours: our peach crumble is just the thing for a rainy day
When peaches are in season, I can’t resist them and there’s nothing nicer than making them the stars of a special dessert. This week is National Barbeque Week and my favourite finale of any BBQ is grilled peaches with mascarpone and honey – when the sun is shining. But it isn’t… So I feel the need for a comfort pudding. At this time of year crumbles tend to get overlooked until late summer when the hedgerows are heaving with berries. Choose the ripest, lushest fruit you can find for this Peach Crumble, especially nice served on a rainy summer day when everyone’s feeling miserable due to the sun’s no show. You could even pull out all the stops and serve it with custard if you feel like it. This recipe serves 6-8 and you will need…
8 firm but ripe peaches
2–3 tablespoons apple juice concentrate
1 tablespoon plain flour
pinch of salt
For the crumble:
80g hazelnuts or other nuts of your choice
65g unbleached plain flour
50g rolled oats
grated zest of 1 orange or lemon
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄8 teaspoon bourbon vanilla powder
pinch of salt
85g brown rice or agave syrup
50g non-hydrogenated margarine, at room temperature
1 Preheat the oven to 150˚C (300˚F) Gas 2. To make the crumble topping, put the nuts in a baking pan and roast them in the preheated oven for 8–10 minutes. Rub off any skins that have loosened from the nuts, then roughly chop the nuts by hand or in a food processor. Big pieces will burn while the crumble is baking, so make them quite small.
2 Put the flour, oats, zest, cinnamon, vanilla powder and salt in a bowl and stir. Add the syrup and mix well, then work the margarine in with your hands, rubbing it quickly between your fingers. When the mixture looks crumbly, add the chopped nuts.
3 Turn the oven up to 180˚C (350˚F) Gas 4. Blanch the peaches in a saucepan of boiling water for 1–2 minutes – just long enough so the skin peels off easily. Transfer them to a bowl of cold water so you don’t burn your fingers, then peel off the skin. Halve and pit the peaches and cut them into wedges. Toss them with the apple juice concentrate, flour and salt. Spread them in the ovenproof dish and cover evenly with the crumble.
4 Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until the crumble topping is golden brown and the juice is bubbling up around the edges. The crumble is best served warm, but if you happen to have leftovers and serve it as a dessert the next day, I’m sure no one will complain.
*Recipe taken from The Vegan Baker by Dunja Gulin (Photography Clare Winfield) is published by Ryland Peters & Small at £16.99 and is available from rylandpeters.com
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