Damson crumble with hazelnut and khorasan topping

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This easy damson crumble recipe is a great way of making the most of the short British damson season. Subtly flavoured with star anise and topped with hazelnuts and flour made from the ancient grain khorasan (which gives it a toasty, earthy taste), this is a distinctly British dessert.

First published in 2019
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  • 800g of damsons, washed and destoned
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 250g of sugar, although you may want to add a little more if your damsons are particularly sour
  • 1 star anise

Hazlenut and khorasan topping


Preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Place the damsons, apple, sugar and star anise in a pan and put on a low heat. Stir often to avoid the sugar catching on the bottom of the pan and burning
Once the damsons have collapsed and the sugar has dissolved, taste the mixture and add more sugar if you want to
Transfer the fruit to an ovenproof dish
As the fruit cools a little, make the crumble topping. Place the flour, sugar, ginger and chilled butter into a blender and blitz to a coarse crumble. Be careful not to over-blend as its nice to keep some larger lumps for texture
Pour the topping evenly over the fruit, then sprinkle over the chopped hazelnuts and a pinch of flaky sea salt
Place the dish on a tray (the mixture may bubble up and spill over the sides) and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve as is, or with cream, custard or ice cream
First published in 2019

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