Here’s a recipe for mulberry crumble, a dish that takes me right back to childhood.
A few weeks ago I posted about the baby mulberries on our tree. Well finally we have ripe juicy mulberries, the first decent crop we’ve had on our young tree, and I’ve been dying to make a mulberry crumble.
We had a healthy mulberry tree on our property in Bundaberg and mulberry crumble was a cherished dessert in spring. (Another amazing thing mum made that I’ve never even tried to replicate is duck-egg baked custard—might need ducks for that!)
I’ve been working on my own crumble topping over the years. It’s always good to have a quick crumble recipe on hand, especially when kids are small and there are lots of apples and pears and peaches and plums with just one bite taken out of them. They can be stored in a container in the fridge with the bruised fruit that children refuse to touch. Cut out the bad bits and cube them at the end of the week to make a delicious crumble.
Here’s how I made our mulberry crumble:
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1 cup almond meal
- ¾ cup wholemeal SR flour
- 125g softened butter
- 2-3 cups fresh mulberries
- 1 tbsp fruit juice (optional)
- 1 tbsp water
Pick your mulberries fresh off the tree! I collected mine over 2 days in a Pyrex casserole dish I kept in the fridge. Gently wash the fruit, keeping an eye out for small insects. I left the stalks on but if you have a fussy family member (ahem, husband) I recommend you remove the stalks. You’ll have to do this with scissors as the fruit are too delicate to pull the stalks off by hand.
Put the mulberries in the base of a small casserole or loaf pan. I then add a splash of juice to help the mulberries soften as they cook. You can grease the pan if you want, but I don’t and it doesn’t seem to matter.
All the dry ingredients go together in a large mixing bowl. This recipe makes quite a lot of crumble but you can reduce the amount by leaving out one or two of the dry ingredients (you can easily make it gluten-free this way) and reducing the amount of butter to suit. Sugar can also be reduced to taste. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly then add the butter and combine using clean bare hands as if making shortcrust pastry or biscuit dough. The mixture will start to clump and when the butter is thoroughly mixed through, add that little bit of water to bring the crumble together.
Next step is to add the crumble topping to the fruit base. Sometimes I like to squeeze the mixture in my hands and then crumble it over the top to make a very crumbly topping. This time, my son and I flattened the mixture to make a crusty, crunchy, solid wall of crumble. Yum!
As mentioned, you can make a crumble like this with all kinds of fresh and tinned fruit. When using apple, I like to add a bit of cinnamon to the topping. With tinned fruit, you can use some of the juice from the tin and obviously don’t need to add any extra juice.
Bake the crumble at 180C for approximately 40mins. The fruit should be bubbling away underneath, and the crumble topping golden-brown and crunchy.
Enjoy with ice cream, cream, or both! Cooked mulberries have the most amazing distinctive colour and flavour, taking me right back to childhood and perfect for the cooler spring weather we’ve been having in Sydney.