The Super Quick & Easy Healthy and Humble Plum Crumble

Well, it feels like a crumble sort of a day

it’s cold,

it’s dreary,

and, it’s dank.

Fear not, a crumble will sort you out, if your heart has sank.

It’s cosy and warming to the core,

(that’s good to know as I’m chilled to the bone),

given today’s weather, a crumble certainly fits the tone.

A humble plum crumble with lashings of steaming hot custard.

The food equivalent of a roaring log fire; cosy and warming to the core,

here’s a super quick recipe, for when you walk through the door x

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serves: 6

Recipe —

For the plum compote

Ingredients

  • 800g plums (2x 400g punnet)
  • 300ml boiling water
  • 1 dessert spoon mixed spice
  • 2 whole star anise
  • Optional – 30g light brown sugar, or to taste

Method

  • Remove the stones from the plums and rough chop
  • Pour the boiling water into a saucepan
  • Add any sugar and bring to the boil for 30 seconds
  • Now add the plums, mixed spice and star anise and simmer for around 10 minutes
  • Towards the end, stir gently until the compote thickens. Remove the star anise then pour into an oven safe gratin dish

For the crumble topping

Ingredients

  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 50g rolled porridge oats
  • 30g light brown sugar
  • 75g vegan margarine (or regular butter if non-vegan, at room temperature, cut into pieces)

Custard, to serve (or see recipe below)

Method

  • Now make the crumble topping. Start by heating your oven to 190C/ 170C fan/ gas mark 5
  • Add the flour, oats and sugar in to a large bowl and stir well to combine
  • Add the margarine by rubbing into the flour mix using your fingertips and being careful not to overwork the crumble or it will become heavy. Aim for a light breadcrumb texture
  • Spread the breadcrumbs over the plum compote and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the crumble topping has taken on a little colour

For the custard

Ingredients

  • 450ml soya milk (or, full-fat milk if you’re not vegan)
  • 2tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp organic cornflour
  • 2tbsp cold water

Method

  • While the crumble is in the oven prepare the custard
  • Add the milk, vanilla extract and sugar to a saucepan and simmer
  • In a small bowl dissolve the cornflour in the water and add this to the saucepan, continuing to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Whisk regularly to thicken the custard

When ready, pour into a custard jug then place in the centre of your table alongside the plum crumble and dig in! x

copyright (c) misterrands.com

Fougasse: the super quick and easy method

Sourdough was the breakout recipe back in spring but, the burning question is, are you bored of it yet?

For instance, have you considered the simple beauty of a Pain De Campagne? Savoured a homemade crusty and flavourful Baguette? Or, delighted in the Provençal charm of a Fougasse?

They may sound unusual and complex but fear not these babies are super easy to make

I’ll start with a fougasse because it’s so good with meze and tapas (the staples in our house because they’re so quick and easy to make!). Place it in the middle of your table and surround with cured hams, cheeses and dips and get ready to be in tear-and-share heaven!

Sure, sourdough would work as well but where’s the tear-and-share fun in that?               

So, let your teeth have a rest (it’ll be for the best) and give these softer doughs a test 🙂

Bread Recipe #2 Fougasse (Quick & Easy Method)

Previously, I walked through the proper artisan method of producing Fougasse, used by most quality bakeries and restaurants because it creates a better flavour and texture. However, as a lot of people are short on time, here’s my quick and easy method instead : )

Prep time: 2 hours (half an hour of real work with an hour and a half for the dough to rise & prove)

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes

Serves: makes two large loaves / four small ones

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 40g wholegrain rye flour
  • 8g fine sea salt, plus extra to finish
  • 7g dried/instant yeast
  • 380ml lukewarm (not hot) water
  • A little olive oil for brushing

Method

The fougasse uses a classic baguette recipe with a slightly different method

  • In a bowl stir the yeast in to the flours then add the salt and 280ml of the water
  • Combine the ingredients using an electric mixer with dough hook attachment set on low speed
  • When the dough starts to form, add the remaining water very slowly and mix for a further 10 minutes on medium. Check the dough is ready by stretching it – it should be very stretchy!
  • Form a ball with the dough by turning it over and over in your hand then place it back in the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour to double in size
  • Preheat your oven to 250C/fan 230C/gas mark 9 or as hot as it’ll go!
  • Line a baking tray with baking parchment paper
  • Uncover the dough and, as gently as possible to keep it full of air, divide in two, and on a work surface very gently stretch each one in to a flat oval shape
  • Now — and here comes the fun part — make a traditional leaf pattern on the dough. Place your dough onto the baking tray and with a sharp knife (or pizza cutter) make a single cut down the centre of the dough, top to bottom, making sure you cut right through the dough but stop around an inch from each end. Make three cuts either side of the line to finish the leaf pattern
  • Gently stretch the dough to widen the cuts and brush with a little olive oil
  • Cover the baking tray with cling film and leave to prove somewhere warm for 30 minutes (if you’re really short on time, skip this step and put it straight in the oven)
  • Uncover the dough and if the cuts have started to join together gently pull them apart
  • Place your tray in the oven and lightly spray inside the oven with water spray
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes (or until the fougasse sounds hollow when tapped on the base)
  • Remove from the oven, brush with a little more olive oil and add a sprinkle of sea salt
  • Serve while still hot (perhaps with a selection of hams, cheeses and dips) and enjoy!

copyright © misterrands.com

Lockdown 2.0 Burning Questions: Are You Bored Of Sourdough, Yet? Try These Delicious Breads Instead…

Sourdough was the breakout recipe back in spring but, the burning question is, are you bored of it yet?

For instance, have you considered the simple beauty of a Pain De Campagne? Savoured a homemade crusty and flavourful Baguette? Or, delighted in the Provençal charm of a Fougasse?

They may sound unusual and complex but fear not these babies are super easy to make

I’ll start with a fougasse because it’s so good with meze and tapas (the staples in our house because they’re so quick and easy to make!). Place it in the middle of your table and surround with cured hams, cheeses and dips and get ready to be in tear-and-share heaven!

Sure, sourdough would work as well but where’s the tear-and-share fun in that?               

So, let your teeth have a rest (it’ll be for the best) and give these softer doughs a test : )

Today’s Bread Recipe – Fougasse

I’ll start with the artisan method today which is the pro-baker’s choice. If you’re short on time, the quick cheat method (coming tomorrow) is for you but, like any quick fix, the result won’t be as tasty

Most quality bakeries and restaurants use this method which incorporates a starter. A starter is a simple mixture of wheat flour, water and yeast (or sourdough culture) which is allowed to ferment for a period of time (a day in this case). The starter is added to bread dough as a substitute for more yeast. Pre-ferments, such as this, are critical for best tasting bread – the flavour and texture is nearly impossible to achieve without it. While it’s not a complex process, it’s not a quick one either. It takes over two days to complete because of the fermentation process but, to be fair, what’s the rush these days…

Prep time: 1-2 hours

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes

Serves: makes two loaves

Ingredients

Day 1 – The Starter

  • 50g cold water
  • 2g fresh yeast (or 1.5g dried yeast)
  • 50g strong white bread flour

Day 2 – The Dough

  • The Starter (see ‘Day 1’)
  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • 20g wholegrain rye flour
  • 4g fine sea salt
  • 4g fresh yeast (or 2g dried yeast)
  • 140g cold water

Method

The fougasse uses a classic baguette recipe with a slightly different method

Day 1 – The Starter

  • In a bowl, mix the fresh yeast and water until fully combined (if using dried yeast, skip this step)
  • Add flour and stir to fully combine (if using dried yeast – stir the yeast through the flour, then add the water, it’ll be easier to combine this way)
  • Cover with cling film and leave at room temperature for 2 hours then place in the fridge overnight (for 12-24 hours)

Day 2 – The Dough

  • Take your Starter out of the fridge and check for a bubbly consistency and slightly alcoholic aroma : )
  • Combine in a bowl the two flours and the salt (if using dried yeast – stir the yeast through the flour as well)
  • In an another bowl, mix the fresh yeast and water until combined (if using dried yeast, you’ll just need the water)
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the liquid and your Starter. Gently bring the dough together, which is easier said than done, I know! Here’s how I do it: gently move a wooden spoon in an increasingly-large circular motion to gradually pull in more of the dry ingredients around the edge of the well then, when the majority comes together, use a hand to gently move the sticky messy ball around the bowl to gather the remaining dry ingredients
  • Remove the dough on to a work surface (tip: don’t add any flour to the work surface – it messes with the recipe)
  • Use the heel of your hand to push and stretch the dough a good full arm’s length into the work surface for around 10 minutes. The longer the better as this creates the elasticity to shape your bread later on
  • Place the dough back in to your bowl (if making two small loafs, divide the dough in half now), cover with cling film and leave at room temperature for an hour
  • Gently shape the dough into a round by turning it over and over in your hands. Then it’s back in the bowl, cover with cling and leave to rest for 10 minutes
  • Line a baking tray with baking parchment paper
  • Uncover the dough and on the work surface stretch it out in to a flat oval shape
  • Now — and here comes the fun part — make a traditional leaf pattern on the dough. Place your dough onto the tray and with a sharp knife (or pizza cutter) make a single cut down the centre of the dough, top to bottom, stopping around an inch from each end. Then make three cuts either side of the line to finish the leaf pattern
  • Stretch the dough to widen the cuts and brush with olive oil
  • Cover the baking tray with cling film and leave to prove for an hour
  • Preheat your oven to 250C/fan 230C/gas mark 9 or as hot as it’ll go!
  • Uncover the dough and if the cuts have started to join together gently pull them apart
  • Place your tray in the oven and lightly spray inside the oven with water spray
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes (or until the fougasse sounds hollow when tapped on the base)
  • Remove from the oven, brush with a little more olive oil and add a sprinkle of sea salt
  • Serve while still hot (perhaps with a selection of hams, cheeses and dips) and enjoy!

copyright © misterrands.com