Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Vegan recipe | Plum and rosewater crumble with almonds

Someone once said that there is no more beautiful colour in the world than the juice from a stewed plum. It falls somewhere between raspberry jam pink, sunset red and the orange of a glowing ember. The fruit's skin, too, is maddeningly beautiful - bruise purple and dusty.

Thankfully, plums are as good to eat as they are to look at, and it's around this time of year that I give myself a kick for not making more of them in late summer. Still, plums are a good segue fruit to ease into autumn with, particularly as custard yellow contrasts so well with them in the bowl. It's the right time to begin thinking about warm puddings. Mmmm....

A few years back, I posted my recipe for Plumble - a classic plum crumble using the fruit from the old tree at the end of our garden. So much has changed since then. The kids are grown, the house is inhabited by someone else, and I no longer eat butter. So it's definitely time for an update.

Making my go-to crumble recipe vegan isn't difficult. The drill is to replace the butter with an alternative - Vitalite or another non-dairy spread of your choosing. But I wanted to embellish, to deepen the flavours a little. To create something new.

Rosewater is a magnificent plum enhancer. The floral notes mesh with the deep fruitiness of the plums to create a vaguely perfumed but still accessible flavour. Add in almonds and the flavour becomes warmer still, but the texture is transformed. A slight chew, a grainier bite, both of which do wonders to the plums which are on the verge of collapse (or fully resigned, depending on how small you chop the raw fruit).

Serve warm with custard (the ready-made Alpro stuff is decent) or vanilla yoghurt.

Plum and rosewater crumble with almonds

650g plums
125g golden caster sugar
1 tbsp rosewater
150g plain flour
100g Vitalite
75g ground almonds
75g 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 caster sugar and the plums. Give it all a good tumble around to make sure the fruit is evenly covered. Stir in the rosewater.
5. Pour the sugared fruit into a 3 pint ovenproof dish.
6. Sieve the flour into the large bowl from before.
7. Add the Vitalite, 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 to the surface. When the mixture resembles damp sand, you can stop rubbing and stir in the ground almonds and the remaining 75g 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.

More plum recipes:


Plum, fig and almond cake

Plum and Earl Grey jam

Plum and almond cake with rosewater icing

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