The cantankerous old plum tree at the end of the garden has fruited this year (it tends to have a rest every other year), and these past weeks we've been harvesting and baking. I have a little helper - A - who has been up and down the branches, collecting the most juicy, purple fruits in his pyjama-top makeshift 'apron'.
As we walked back down the garden path towards the house, he turned to me and asked what we were going to make that day. 'Crumble', I replied.
'Plum crumble... Why isn't it called plumble?'.
Why, indeed. From now on, that's all it will be called.
125g golden caster sugar
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp mixed spice
50g caster sugar
15g demerara sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6.
2. Wash the plums and remove the stones.
3. Cut the plums into quarters and then in half again.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the 125g caster sugar and cinnamon, before adding the plums. Give it all a good tumble around to make sure the fruit is evenly covered in the spiced sugar.
5. Pour the sugared fruit into a 3 pint ovenproof dish.
6. Sieve the flour and mixed spice into the large bowl from before.
7. Add the butter, cutting through the mixture with two kitchen knives and/or rubbing the fat into the flour with the very ends of your fingertips. Bash the side of the bowl every so often to bring any large lumps of butter to the surface. When the mixture resembles damp sand, you can stop rubbing and stir in the remaining 50g of sugar.
7. Pour the crumble mixture over the fruit and pat down loosely. Top with the demerara sugar.
8. Cook in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes.