Classic crumble topping

When we were growing up a Sunday lunch was not complete unless there was a crumble for pudding – the classic crumble being blackberry and apple.  For me it has always been about the stewed fruit underneath the crumble topping, but for the rest of the family they fought after the gooey layer between the fruit and the very top of the crumble.

As a result, for years now the boys have been ringing Mumsy on the weekend demanding to know her recipe for crumble topping.  I can even remember one of my brothers asking Mumsy to tell him the measurements according to a pint glass as he didn’t have any scales and the glass was all he had to hand.  I have to admit for a couple of years I went off crumble (a result of a few bad ones at school) but, in the last couple of years I have really started to enjoy them again.  For the boys I think it is fairly safe to say that crumbles are one of their favourite puddings.

The joy of making a crumble is that it uses ingredients that you tend to have lying around and takes no time at all to make, and, if that isn’t enough it works really well with most fruits.  As I mentioned before blackberry and apple is the most common one we eat at home, however, rhubarb tastes brilliant as does plum.  A couple of years ago a friend mentioned that they regularly ate raspberry crumble which I am yet to try but I am sure it tastes delicious.  Yesterday, I made one using the windfall apples and greengages.

Once you have decided on the fruit that you want to use in your crumble, prepare it by either stewing or baking it (I tend to stew apples, plums and greengages in a tiny bit of water before adding a little sugar according to how tart the apples are.  For rhubarb, I tend to roast it in the oven with a little orange peel and some sugar syrup for 20-30 mins), then place the fruit in a deep oven-proof dish before adding the crumble topping, made according to the method below.

Mumsy’s Crumble Topping


  • 5 oz plain flour
  • 3 ½ oz butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 oz caster sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
  • Handful chopped almonds (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 190C fan.
  2. Place the flour, butter and sugar in a bowl and then using your fingers rub the mixture together until you have crumbs.
  3. Place the crumble topping on top of your stewed fruit, if you are using any/all of the spices sprinkle them evenly over the crumble topping before baking in the oven for 20-25 minutes until slightly brown on top.
  4. Serve the crumble with either: ice-cream, crème fraiche, cream, or custard.


2 thoughts on “Classic crumble topping

  1. Tom Huston


    You might think about doing one on the goat cheese pancakes. A staple at my brother’s restaurant in Santa Barbara, CA.. dutifully passed onto your “mumsy”.. J

    Later Tom Huston


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