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Cherry Crumble

It's cherry season again! \n_n/

Summer here brings cherries, so of course I've been devouring them by the bucketload. I first made this crumble last summer, and couldn't wait to do it again. The roasted cherries are soft, sweet, and deliver an amazing burst of flavour, while the streusel topping adds a crumbly crunch. I'd made a post about it last year but it's buried amongst all the other cherry recipes so I wanted to give it its own post.

This is a great way to use up cherries that aren't already yummy fresh. I had a large bag of cherries that were not at all sweet and a little unripe, so weren't great to eat 'just like that'. Turned out sooooooo good in the crumble though! You could serve it cold on a vanilla custard, which is my preference, but you could also serve it warm alongside a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, or even have it on its own as a little indulgence. Whichever way you have it, it's delicious :D

Note: if you do not have a cherry pitter (and I don't) what you can do is poke the pits out with a chopstick. It makes a huge mess, though, so what I do is stick my hands in a plastic shopping bag so that it catches the splatter, and then I can just drop the pit right into the bag. And I'm not even kidding about the splatter! It goes EVERYWHERE, so be careful. Even with the bag I managed to create a magnificent red arc up the kitchen wall; Dexter would have been proud. So wear something that you're not too precious about, hide your stainable stuff, hide yo' kids hide yo' wife-- I mean... er. Yes. Onward!

Cherry Crumble
Adapted from Spots For Dates, makes about 8 servings

~800g cherries, then pitted and halved
2 tbsp white sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
100g butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon

1) Pre-heat oven to 175C.

2) Spread prepared cherries over a lined baking sheet, and sprinkle the sugar over them.

3) Combine the flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl, then add the butter. Press the mixture together with your fingers until it resembles a rough 'dough'. If it's too powdery, add a splash of water, but it's ok if it doesn't completely combine.

4) Tear pieces or small lumps out of the 'dough' and drop over the cherries. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the topping is golden and lightly browned.

Done! Easy-peasy :D The most annoying part is pitting all the cherries, and the rest is easy sailing.

I'll also repeat the custard recipe for those that want to serve the crumble with it.

Vanilla Custard
Adapted from Not Quite Nigella

2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
100g caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
400ml non-fat milk (or 270ml cream and 130ml regular milk, depending on taste)
2 tsp vanilla essence

1) Whisk together the egg and yolks, sugar, and cornflour in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk the milk in until smooth.

2) Put the saucepan on over a low-med heat and cook, stirring occasionally. Once it starts to properly heat up, you will need to stir almost constantly to prevent it forming a film on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the mixture thickens (it will be a very noticeable change and the custard should coat the back of a wooden spoon), and then remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla essence.

3) Strain the custard into a bowl or container, and cover it with clingwrap/saran wrap in such a way that the wrap is actually resting on the surface of the custard. This will prevent it forming that unpleasant 'skin' as it cools. Once it's not super hot anymore, you could put it in the fridge to cool completely if you want to serve this dish cold.