There is nothing more effortlessly comforting than a crumble, regardless of sunshine or snow. This light, fruity cherry crumble has a mellow fragrance from the pistachio nut topping and is laced with a modest forkful of brandy, because – well, why not? You can go for kirsch instead or leave out the booze entirely. It’s also fantastic with other summer fruits, like peaches, gooseberries, strawberries and raspberries, or a mixture of whatever berries are rattling round the back of your fridge. But cherries are hard to beat when fresh and juicy.
I love cherries plucked straight from the stalk and chewed up before spitting the pips out, even if it does recall unpleasant memories of that scene in The Witches of Eastwick. Cherries are perfect as is, but there’s good reason they are the traditional fruit of choice for other baked desserts, such as clafoutis and sweet cherry pie. I love the deep, garnet sauce beneath the crisp topping and although there is no getting around the fact that they’re a bit if a faff to stone, you can always do it sitting outside in the garden or offload this dreary job on to your unsuspecting dining guests. The rest of it requires nothing more taxing than a quick blitz in the food processor.
This summer crumble is delicious served as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, Greek yoghurt or a slurp of cream. If you’re feeling more traditional, you can never go wrong with a jug of custard, but if the weather’s feels too hot to be stirring at the stove, a sinfully generous serving of clotted cream throws all thoughts of crème anglais out the window.
Unlike a growing number of my friends and family, I can eat gluten without fear of incident, but I genuinely think this crumble topping is best without the wheat. Give it a go! I am confident you won’t regret it.