I think fruit crumble may be the world’s easiest dessert … and one of the yummiest! The only trick to making a great crumble topping is that the butter has to be cold. I still remember the best crumble I ever had, it was in a pub in a tiny fishing village on the east coast of Scotland – I don’t recall anything else about that meal, but I’ve never forgotten the plum crumble. You can use this crumble topping with any fruit (even canned or bottled in a pinch), but I particularly like it with the stone fruits that are so abundant and delicious in summer. Nectarines are especially quick as they don’t need to be peeled – and their red skin looks beautiful, especially if you use a mixture of yellow and white-fleshed fruit for contrast. I like a vin santo with fruit desserts, and I especially enjoy the slightly bitter note of San Niccolo from Chianti producer Castellare.
- 6 nectarines
- 1½ cups plain flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 125g cold butter, cubed
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Chop nectarines and place in oven-proof bowls or ramekins.
- Place flour, sugar and butter in a bowl and rub together with your fingers until it crumbles, squeezing the mixture a little so some of it clumps together.
- Crumble the mixture over the nectarine and bake for 25-30 minutes until crunchy and golden.
- Serve hot or warm with ice cream.