I’m a guilty baker. Guilty because I never seem to have enough time to bake all the pies I want, which is why this summer was vacant of pies resting on the window seal, and rather bursting with crumbles cooling on the oven-top. Crumble is just so easy and when cherries are prolific, I can’t help but make a Spiced Cherry Crumble; especially as the first signs of Autumn start appearing with every sun dried leaf that falls in a wind that is blended with afternoon sun and whispers of air that hints to a cooler season approaching. Spiced cherry crumble is the perfect compliment to long hot summer days and the Fall Fever that takes hold of me every August.
I’ve been making crumbles for years, often with over ripe fruit left in the fridge, you can change the profile of this dish by adding pears, plums, apples or even blueberries. The joy of crumbles is that they are the baking leftover equivalent of a cottage pie. Toss it all in, don’t be shy. But do be mindful of pits, stems, seeds and fruit that is too over ripe.
SPICED CHERRY CRUMBLE
Spiced because it the key to curing my longing for Fall flavors, hints of anise and cinnamon, using this Reims spice blend is a cure all for Fall Fever and pairs so effortlessly with fresh cherries. I’ve been known to sprinkle it on roasted cherries and add it to cocktails… but today, I’m blending it with clotted vanilla cream melting on the top of a warm crumble. I’ve used all white granulated sugar in this recipe, but you can add depth by blending the white sugar with a soft brown sugar — the result is more autumnal and rich. Quite possibly the best of Fall and Summer in a single bite.
- 8 ounces of unsalted butter
- 8 ounces of white granulated sugar, plus a sprinkle
- 16 ounces of white all purpose flour, sifted
- 4 pounds of tart cherries, pitted
- 1/2 tablespoon of Reims N. 39
Add the cherries to a deep pie dish and sprinkle with white granulated sugar. In a separate bowl, add the flour, butter, sugar and Reims to a bowl and blend with your fingers until it feels like wet sand. The task should be slow, pondering and gentle, don’t rush the crumble topping, rather take your time and allow the granulation to be gradual. If you rush the crumble topping, you may find yourself melting the butter before it crumbles which will leave you with a dough rather than a granulated crumble. Pour the blend on top of the cherries so that all the cherries are covered. Place in a 375F pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes until it starts to turn golden, then bring up the heat to 400F to bubble the cherries and crisp the top for a final 10 minutes. Served with ice cold vanilla ice cream or a fresh vanilla clotted cream.
Side Note: Enjoy these last few days of summer and all the fruity delights that await. Soon life will hand you pears, apples and Meyer lemons….. all equally as fabulous. Looking for the Reims and the pie dish? We stock them both at Ettiene Market, give us a ring, we will send them to you. Our online shop is opening soon.