We’ve had stone fruit coming out of our ears lately. Some of our near and dear have an apricot tree laden with more fruit than they can possibly turn into jam, so we went to visit and came home with a big box full of the luscious, golden fruit. And on top of that, I stumbled across some local cherries going out by the box full at a dirt cheap price…and you would know by now that I can’t pass a good fruit bargain by.
One thing about having a glut of produce is that you have to deal with it in some way. And when the weather’s hot, like the 40-something has been here lately, it can be a race against the clock before it all spoils.
So a busy day in the kitchen later and we now have jars of Apricot & Vanilla Bean Jam in the cupboard, bags of stewed apricot in the freezer, bellies full of cherries, as well as dried cherries and apricot fruit leather.
But the first thing I made was this…Cherry & Apricot Crumble. The recipe is from The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison, a book that emerged from the highly successful Greens Restaurant in San Francisco Bay, and has a wealth of simple yet sophisticated recipes based on seasonal produce.
It is quick and easy to make, gorgeously fragrant and sweet, but a fairly decadent treat, so small servings are the way to go. I have upped the fruit a little from the original recipe, on account of having so much of it!
By the way, if you’re working with cherries, I’d seriously recommend getting your hands on a cherry pitter. It will give you beautifully pitted cherries in no time. And if you happen to have a child or two lingering around the kitchen, put them onto the task – they’ll love it.
1 kg apricots
1 ½ tablespoons tapioca
115g plain flour
115g brown sugar
Pinch sea salt
150g unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
Preheat your oven to 200 °C, and lightly grease a 2L capacity oven-proof dish
For the fruit base:
Cut the apricots in half and de-stone. Stone the cherries. Toss the sugar and the tapioca through the fruit. Tip into the baking dish.
For the topping:
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a medium sized bowl. Rub the butter through with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Spread evenly over the fruit.
Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the top is brown and the sides are bubbling.
Serve warm or cold…delicious!