Apple and Strawberry Crumble with a Chewy Oat Topping

There are just too many distractions around me at the moment. Although, I will admit, that it is kind of my own fault…

I’ve just wrapped up a huge project at work and finally got the 84-page monster off to the printer, I’m participating in The Kitchn’s Baking School, I’m still trying to find the optimum layout for my spices in my new pantry, not to mention the boxes that still need to be unpacked, and, unfortunately, I am watching a lot of TV.

Apple-Strawberry Crumble with Oat Topping

You see, I had to – yes, had to – sign up for pay TV… How else was I going to watch The Great Australian Bake Off?? But access to the food channel brings along with it a whole host of shows that I have suddenly been suckered into watching.

This has made cooking dinner very difficult and taking twice as long as it should…

I am very grateful that these are the worst of my concerns at the moment.

I will admit that I did enjoy a fun evening prepping fruit for a crumble on the coffee table whilst watching some food show.

Apple-Strawberry Crumble with Oat Topping

It that time of year again, that even if you are in a different hemisphere, pumpkin and apple goods are appearing everywhere. Or it could be that they have always been there and I’m just paying more attention to what’s around at the moment.

Whilst at the market hunting for some purple cauliflower, I found some beautiful apple cider-toasted oats, and with strawberries on sale at the next stall, an oat-topped apple and strawberry crumble was a no brainer. It’s seasonal for both my fall-happy friends on the other side of the world and for us here who are experiencing quite a fickle spring.

This worked out quite well seeing as I’m co-hosting Fiesta Friday #90 this week with Angie @The Novice Gardener and Lindy @Love in the Kitchen. Can you believe we’ve had 90 awesome fiestas? Ten to go before what I’m sure will be a huge extravaganza! So join in and share your recipes with us this week and stick around to chat with some lovely people.

Apple and Strawberry Crumble

Apple-Strawberry Crumble with Oat Topping

The amount of fruit needed for a crumble all depends on the size of the baking dish you are using. Just keep cutting fruit until the baking dish is three-quarters full, which will allow room for the crumble topping. If you fill it right to the top, bake it with an empty baking sheet underneath to catch any juices that might bubble over. The amount of fruit I used filled a 33cm x 25cm oval baking dish.

Ingredients

  • 6 apples (peeled and chopped into small, even pieces)
  • 1 punnet of strawberries (cleaned, topped and chopped into quarters)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup demerara sugar (or a bit more depending on taste or the sweetness of your fruit)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon (divided)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 60g all-purpose flour
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • Around 4 grates of a nutmeg seed, or to taste
  • 70g butter (melted)
  • Vanilla ice cream (to serve, optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Toss the chopped apples and strawberries together with the lemon juice and pour into the baking dish. Sprinkle with the sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and then stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, remaining cinnamon and nutmeg. Add in the melted butter and stir to combine. If the mixture is to dry and not clumping, add a little water to help bring the oats together into a soft clumps.
  4. Top the chopped fruit with oat crumble topping, gently spreading the mixture around as much as possible.
  5. Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until the oat crumble topping is golden brown – it goes from golden to brown very quickly so keep an eye on it in the last few minutes.
  6. Allow to stand for at least 5 minutes, 10 minutes is better, before serving, with or without ice cream and a teaspoon of sticky juice from the bottom of the baking dish.

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Vanilla Scones with Strawberry Cream

Have you ever thought about how many different kinds of scones there are? There are sweet scones, like white chocolate and strawberry, herb and cheese savoury scones, fruit-filled scones, butter scones, pumpkin scones, lemonade scones, buttermilk scones, lovely sounding crème fraiche scones that Kitsch n flavours just posted… I could continue for days…

Scones have never really liked me. I can make soufflés and bake croissants, but every scone recipe I’ve tried has ended in disaster.

Vanilla Scones

I have a friend who can speedily and effortlessly whip up a batch of scones without thought. Whilst also cooking lunch. And bread. And happily chatting and drinking wine. She is very skilled at multitasking…

She’s even walked me through her recipe and watched me make it and still has no idea how I messed them up time and time again.

They tasted fine, but boy did they look awful.

Recently, I had to take a morning tea/afternoon tea type treat to an event, and I figured it was the perfect time to try making scones again, and shock horror, they actually turned out pretty well! They tasted great and rose beautifully and evenly, and because these particular scones contain no butter or milk, they were still great the next day.

So seeing as how I am now free from the scone curse, I’m off to experiment with other types of scones and offer these ones up to the Fiesta Friday #70 party. Angie @The Novice Gardener, Dini @Giramuk’s Kitchen and Mollie @The Frugal Hausfrau are your co-hosts this week so it should be a great get-together.

Vanilla Scones with Strawberry Cream

  • Servings: makes 20 to 24 scones
  • Print

Vanilla Scones

Ingredients for Vanilla Scones

  • 4 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla essence)
  • A few tablespoons of milk
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar (to serve)

Ingredients for Strawberry Cream

  • ¼ cup strawberry jam
  • 1 ½ cups whipped cream
  • 150g fresh strawberries (roughly chopped)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
  2. Sift flour, sugar and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Create a well in the centre and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine cream, milk and vanilla. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a flat-bladed knife to combine.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth.
  5. Pat the dough out to a 2.5cm-thick round. Using a 5cm scone cutter, cut 12 scones from the dough. Gently press the remaining dough together and repeat.
  6. Place the scones on the prepared tray, allowing a little room for spreading. Using a pastry brush, gently brush some milk on the tops and sides of the scones and then bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.
  7. Remove the scones from the oven, cover with a clean tea towel and stand scones on tray for 10 minutes.
  8. To make the strawberry cream, stir the jam in a bowl until slightly softened. Add the cream and half the strawberries and gently fold through until just combined.
  9. Split scones in half. Top the bases with a dollop of strawberry cream, the remaining strawberries and the scone tops. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Recipe by Julie Jansen from taste.com.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Pies

To my knowledge, this month was the first time that I ever had rhubarb.

Is that strange?

Image

I don’t consider myself a picky eater anymore, but I do admit I am still a cautious eater… if the smell of something make me wrinkle my nose, I’m most likely not going to try it.

So, finicky eating habits and growing up with a Mediterranean mother means that there are still a lot of foods and dishes out there that I haven’t tried yet. And up until a couple of weeks ago, rhubarb was one of them.

I saw the lovely red stalks at the market and grabbed a bunch, knowing that my baking bible would help me out with a recipe or an idea once I was home. My only worry was the taste as I had no idea what to expect.

And it turns out that I love it! Rhubarb is delightfully tart and, as most already know, pairs beautifully with strawberries.

Rhubarb Strawberry Pie2

I may be late to both the rhubarb party and to The Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday #17 party, but at least I arrived with style with these cute little rhubarb and strawberry pies.

Fiesta Friday Badge Button I party @

 

Rhubarb and Strawberry Pies

  • Servings: makes 4 pies
  • Print

Rhubarb Strawberry Pie1

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Ingredients

  • 250g plain flour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 150g butter (cold, cut into cubes)
  • 1 egg

Rhubarb and Strawberry Filling Ingredients

  • 4 large rhubarb stems (coarsely chopped)
  • 250g fresh strawberries (coarsely chopped)
  • 55g caster sugar + 2 extra teaspoons
  • 2 tablespoons water (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • Butter for greasing
  • 1 egg white (lightly whisked)

Method

  1. To make the pastry, combine the flour, sugar and butter and process either by hand, in a food processor or with a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly.
  2. Add the egg and mix until combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
  3. Shape the dough into a disc, cover with cling wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. While the dough is in the fridge, begin making the filling. Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and half the water in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 3 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the corn flour and the remaining tablespoon of water and stir to mix into a smooth paste. Add it to the rhubarb and strawberry mixture and stir gently until the mixture begins to boil and thicken.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, gently stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove form the heat and set aside to cool.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it warm slightly.
  8. Grease 4 loose base mini tartlet pans (12cm) with butter and set aside on a baking tray.
  9. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry between sheets of baking paper to about 4mm thickness. Cut our four rounds to fit the base and sides of the tartlet pans. Gently press dough rounds into each pan and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  10. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200°C.
  11. Roll out the remaining dough between sheets of baking paper, again to a 4mm thickness and cut out four rounds to fit the top of the tartlet pans, with a bit of dough overhang.
  12. When ready, remove the tartlet pans from the fridge and spoon the fruit mixture evenly across the four pastry cases.
  13. Brush the edges of the top dough rounds with the whisked egg white and place over the filling, pressing the edges together to seal. Brush the tops with the remaining egg white, sprinkle with the additional sugar and cut a small steam hole into the centre of each pie.
  14. Bakes pies for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  15. Stand pies in their pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.

Recipe slightly adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly Bake cookbook.

 

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