Lawrence is back on the blog. Here goes:
Lawrence here again. I’m 16 months now and slowly getting to the point where I can leave this living hell of routine, removal from the bath, vegetables, limited treats, car journeys over 3 minutes and shoes. I have a message for all you baby/toddler hybrids out there about keeping your mother/father/adult ‘in charge’ on their toes.
Sometimes, just sometimes the person ‘in charge’ makes you something you like that’s also the right temperature and texture. This holy trinity rarely come together so enjoy the moment. It might be Bolognese, it might be fish pie, perhaps it’s rice pudding or blackberry and pear crumble. It doesn’t matter what it is. What matters is this; only eat it three times. Even if you like it.
Here’s why; your job is to educate the moron adult ‘in charge’ in ALL things. And one of these things is cooking. If you keep eating the same things, regardless of how much you like it, they will never learn. They repertoire will be limited. They’ll become one of those blinkered fools who serves up the same 7 meals, week in, week out, for 50 years.
So throw down that spoon, shake your head, shout ‘no’ if you have acquired the power of speech and, if you’re dealing with an especially idiotic care giver you may be forced to make your point more clearly. Yes, that means throw your bowl. Crying? Well, crying goes without saying. If you don’t know that by now then I simply can’t help you.
Lots of great recipes like this in my books, Recipes from a Normal Mum, (available on Amazon, at The Works, Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets) and The Power of Frozen (available exclusively in Iceland stores and through their website).
One year ago: Lemon cheesecake, Ginger and Caramac version, Peanut butter pie with an Oreo crust, Double chocolate pecan pie and salted caramel traybake, a Traditional Christmas pud and Parkin for Bonfire night
Apple & pear crumble
- 2 pears, peeled and decored, cut into 3cm chunks
- enough blackberries to cover the bottom of your dish by about 3cm high
- 50g dark brown soft sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 250g castor sugar
- 200g plain flour
- 130g cold, salted butter, cubed
Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2. Take a dish that you wish to bake your crumble in. I like to use a Falcon dish about 20cm wide. Pop your fruit into it to check it all fits – there needs to be about 2cm space from the top of the fruit to allow for crumble topping.
Place all the prepared fruit into a large saucepan along with the brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes until soft and starting to bubble. Remove from the heat and pour into your crumble dish.
Make the crumble by stirring the castor sugar and flour together and then adding the cubed butter. Use your fingers and thumbs to lift the mixture up and rub it between them to produce a fine breadcrumb like consistency. Continue to do this until you have a fine mixture, then (now this is going to sound strange) scrunch the mixture up in your fists to produce larger pieces (about 2cm wide) of rubble. I know this sounds strange but it produces such great crumble as you get proper large pieces mixed in with smaller bits. You do need to rub it all into a fine consistency first though. You can’t skimp on this, if you do you’ll just have large blobs of butter that melt in the oven.
Pour over the fruit and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the crumble is brown on the top and the fruit filling is bubbling up and threatening to stain everything in sight with jamminess. The top will be lovely and crisp and the bottom of the crumble soft as it melts into the fruit. This is how I feel crumbles should be. I cannot stand a deconstructed crumble.
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