Monday, August 27, 2012

Strawberry and Apple Crumble and the Great Food Debate

Strawberry and Apple Crumble

It seems almost criminal to cook strawberries I know, but beach dwellers, my motives are pure.  I want to get my kiddos eating more oats, a super food and more dairy. Strawberries are so affordable right now, that it just seemed the way to go.  I use all sorts of trickery and tom foolery to get these kiddos eating well.  They are picky and I am impatient.  Not a great combo around the dinner table here at the beach house!!!!  With my hatred of cleaning, it is not unusual to find all sorts of dried food under the kiddos table, days after it has been lovingly served up, as what I thought was a delicious meal.  But apparently not, a point which is made crystal clear to me, as I prize dried lamb and once beautifully cooked, but now shrivelled up old vegetables from the floor boards!!! 

So yes dear reader, I hide food they wont eat, amongst food they will and  here's my latest version of  trickery, in the great and seemingly everlasting beach house food debate.

As I still have a preschooler and like to eat spicy low fat food myself, I am still in that parallel universe were I cook 2 different meals per night. One for the kids and one for the adults. Crazy I know, but that's where we are.  It's also a timing thing.  Motherhood means that most  freedoms and pleasures from my single and childless lifestyle are lost to the past, but eating my dinner at 5pm is a concept I will never be able grasp.  To me it doesn't feel civilised sitting down to dinner, in what I still consider to be the afternoon.

So as I am endlessly cooking, a past time which I actually enjoy.   Any dish which is easy to prepare and healthy, is a keeper in my book and this is one of those.  Oh and if strawberries are not so affordable in your region right now, substitute any fruit your desire.  For example a bunch of rhubarb or any fruit that cooks up well, such as pears.

Strawberry and Apple Crumble

2-3 punnets of strawberries hulled and halved.  Reserve one or two to cut and garnish
4 apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2/3 cup white sugar for the fruit
4 tablespoons water
200 grams butter
150g rolled oats
150g plain flour
150g brown sugar for the crumble
Cooking spray for greasing

Over a low heat  combine fruit water and sugar in a large saucepan and cook for 20-30 mins so fruit is soft.  As there is alot of water in the fruit it may bubble over so that's why you need a large saucepan.
Set aside to cool.  After 10 minutes drain off water and use the juice to make strawberry milkshakes.  I made some, but forgot to shoot them before they were downed by the Beach House Brats and friends.

Place the fruit into a small baking dish, which has been lightly sprayed with cooking oil.  If you don't have any spray lightly grease with butter.

Meanwhile. combine the butter, oats, flour and brown sugar in a large bowl and rub together with your fingers until it is well combined.

Spread the crumble mixture evenly over the fruit.

Bake in a moderate oven 180 C/ 350F for 25 -35 minutes or until golden brown.  The fruit may bubble up through the crumble, which just adds to is rustic nature!!!!  Serve with low fat yoghurt, ice cream or cream and enjoy.

I serve this for both dessert and as a breakfast alternative.

Have a wonderful week.  I am making an appearance at a little car boot sale next weekend, so have lots of things to get ready.  I'm making a few of these surfboards to sell as well.
And for all my other baking recipe go here
What tricks to you use to get the kiddos eating well?
Today I am linked up here


  1. oooh, you make that look so good. Oats, yes, good. Have you tried the Brookfarm porrij (yes, that is how they spell it!) divine, they have a gluten free one too. have a great week. Jx

  2. I love crumble! I have been making a pear crumble for dessert quite a bit this winter. I love that not only is it reasonably healthy and cheap, it's also very light.

    My Miss 15 still does not eat her vege's and I still often have to cook two different meals! Some things they just never grow out of :(

  3. My trick to getting my kids to eat well, is to give them the alternative of eat your tea or go to bed hungry - hunger wins out, they find that going to bed without tea is not much fun. My kids will eat whatever is on their plates and not complain.
    My oldest whinged once about the fish I was serving so he only got the same amount of salad and chips on his plate as the rest of us but no fish- he never whinged again!
    I am tough, but I can't stand fussy kids- I should know I was one!

    1. Deanne I love yours style and with 5 kids you are incredible.

    2. Thanks Carolyn, I actually have 6 kids.
      I find it gratifying when they go somewhere and I get compliments from people about how they ate everything on their plate!

    3. Yes you have 6 kids and I can't add up. Those two things are a fact. I know the name of your blog is 5 brothers 1 sister and there you have it. I counted that as 5 kids. It must have been too early. Sorry, but it just makes you even more amazing with 6 not 5!!!!!

  4. I like Deanne's style too! I remember having to cook separate meals for the kids. You feel as though you are constantly in the kitchen. Now we all eat together at 7pm and it's so much easier. Since deciding I wasn't really healthy enough, it's become a bit more of a challenge as I'm cooking more vegetables, but the kids are adjusting.

  5. these are lovely photos! & i love any kind of crumble dessert. if only i could eat things like that.
    we've always eaten the same thing for dinner. my youngest a bit fussy but i found if you just keep giving them healthy things they eat it in the end. i make vegetable juices carrot, beetroot, celery and add apple or pear - a good way to get lots of vitamins in and kids like it.

  6. hi Carolyn - looks very yummy. I know what you mean about cooking fruit. but this looks delicious!
    cheers Fiona xx

  7. The French find crumble very trendy. BTW next time you're over here go and have a drool at this cookware shop - been around since 1820 - from the time when Les Halles was a huge market - since been moved to Rungis about half an hour out of Paris.

    Oh yeah - it's pronounced "Lay Al" - not "Les Halls" - he's a Country & Western singer.

    This shop is way better for cookware than "Monoprix" (pronounced "Mono Pree" not "Mono Pricks").

    We are making the most of the figs growing in the Provence house. We use them in a sauce for barbequed meat - especially good with pork. But here's a dessert we're doing tonight - "Gâteau Basque Aux Figues Fraïches" (Basque-style Fresh Fig Cake from down the South Coast past Biarritz)

    Pastry - 2 cups/250g Flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup/150g sugar, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon rum, 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons/150g butter plus more for the pan, 1 egg mixed with 1/2 teaspoon salt for the glaze.

    Fig Filling - 12 ounces/330g fresh figs, 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar or to taste, 2 tablespoons/30g butter, 1/4 cup/60ml Port, 1/2 cup/60g raspberries or 3 to 4 tablespoons raspberry jam.

    9inch/23cm round cake pan

    Make the pastry - sift the flour onto a work surface and make a well in the centre. Put the salt, sugar, egg yolk and whole whole egg and vanilla or other flavouring in the well. Pound the butter with a rolling pin to soften it, add it to the other ingredients in the well and work with the fingers of one hand until thoroughly mixed and the sugar is partially dissolved [Now you can take a slug of chilled Rosé or your bevvie of choice]. using a pastry scraper, gradually draw in the flour from the sides of the well, then work the dough and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. [Chill out yourself with another hit of chilled Rosé]

    For the filling, discard the fig stems and cut the figs into large chunks. Toss the figs with the sugar in a bowl. Melt the butter in a frying pan over high heat (don't burn the bastard). Add the figs and cook, stirring constantly with one hand while drinking another glass of Rosé with the other. Stir until caramelized and very tender - about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the port and flambé it. Have another drink if you manage to successfully flambé without setting your hair or the kitchen on fire. Add the raspberries and continue cooking until the filling just falls easily from a spoon - 2 to 3 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly. Taste, adjust the amount of sugar and leave the filling to cool. Voila! You're done. Now go chill the Champagne. And some clotted cream.

    1. So they find it trendy ha? I doubt because it's English. Possibly more about the fact that oats/fruit is good for you, or that the French like things of beauty that taste good Do tell!!!!.

      I so want you for a guest post on here. Come on, you must be heading back to Paris soon, as Summer is on the wane. How about a post on a day on your life in Provence and then one in Paris. You could show us some of the less well known areas like that canteen under La Madeleine, which served great food but was really a charitable thing.It was closed for the month of August so we didn't get of my regrets.

      That recipe looks fab and with your own figs too. Man you had me at "The Provence House"

      From one Mono Prix to another

    2. PS clearly your talking about my hair not yours here. Last time I looked you didn't have any on your head.

    3. Reading this thoroughly for the second time I am really laughing hard.


  8. This looks amazing...can't wait to try!!

  9. Good luck with your sale this weekend. This looks delish!

  10. We went to Ile de Ré for a holiday years ago. Great place. A small island off La Rochelle. Where I was "assaulted".

    Let me explain...

    I was fascinated by the salt pans. Check this out ..."it smells like violets" -

  11. This looks divine and i am so going to make this one. My boys will be singing your praises hun. We are very lucky that out guys are great eaters and the 7 and 11 year olf are actually partial to a bit of chilli, but nothing is called by its real name - i.e. cowboy chilli (chilli con carne), orange soup (pumpkin soup), shrek toes and poop (peas and beans), fairy poo (mushrooms) bahaha I have so much fun thinking up the names. xx

  12. Looks great, love the washboard.


  13. It's party time over at Debt Free Mommy Blog and you're invited! Please drop on by and link up with Making Space Mondays. Oh, and we've got some really exciting news about our new house this week! Hope to see you there! -Tabitha


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