I would happily eat crumble for my last meal. I really would .. well, that or apple pie and preferably both now I come to think of it! Oh and I'd want at least another couple of courses too, obviously! I have fond memories of eating a lot of fruit crumbles when I was growing up. My Mum used to make them using whatever fruit was in season at the time, served with a good lashing of custard poured on the side. Made from a tin of Bird's I might add and oh, it was goooood!
Crumbles are the British equivalent of the American Crisp. Although they've been around longer, they only came into their own during World War II. Rationing meant there were fewer pastry ingredients to be had so this frugal topping was used instead. Originally it was an autumnal dish made with windfall apples by thrifty housewives but nowadays it's as popular as ever and any fruit fillings may be used. Even vegetables, although I have to say that concept does nothing for me. The whole point of a crumble is that it is quick and simple to make. By choice I would have plums or apple but never the two together!
Don't you think there is something so comforting about beautifully ripe fruits at the peak of their season (locally grown is even more satisfying), baked under the simplest of toppings? A pinch of cinnamon or some other autumnal spice I'll happily handle but absolutely nothing else. I wouldn't ever want to fuss over the fruits either, I much prefer to taste them and know instantly what they are.
This particular topping is of the nice, soft variety. Not one of those ultra dry ones that catches the back of your throat, or needs copious quantities of liquid to get it down. A small handful of dates provides a little sweetness and bite and really that's all it needs ... though if you served it with whipped coconut cream, a simple ice cream or even just plain, unadulterated coconut milk poured in small quantities over the top, it wouldn't hurt!
freezing the shortening beforehand ensures the fat stays in clumps and creates a lovely buttery, crumbly textured topping.
Print the recipe here
800g prune plums, halved and stoned
3/4 cup (100g) coconut flour (I use this one)
4 large (80g) medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
100g lard, frozen for 15 mins or so in small cube like pieces
slightly rounded 1/2 cup (50g) finely shredded coconut (I use this one)
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder (I use this one)
large pinch salt (I use this one)
Preheat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C.
Place the plums into a 10" x 7" x 2" baking dish or equivalent capacity.
Put the coconut flour and dates into a food processor and whizz for 20-30 seconds until the dates are broken down into small crumb sized pieces. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse a few times until combined and the lard resembles small pebbles. You want the texture to be exaggeratedly crumbly, as opposed to fine and cakey.
Put the crumble over the plums and use a fork to cover in a rustic, haphazard fashion. It really doesn't matter if some of the plums are peeking through the topping, in fact I like to leave it that way to allow the juices to bubble through the gaps.
Cook for about 35 minutes, until the juices are bubbling and the plums are tender when pierced with a knife.
Serve with ice cream or whipped vanilla coconut cream or my favourite, pure unadulterated coconut milk from an unshaken container.
Thank you so much! I have just come across your blog via Pinterest. This is my fifth day on the AIP diet, but as I have no recipe books yet, all I've been eating is fruit salad, salad, and grilled meat for five days! I have just switched from an almost-vegan diet heavy in grains, so I really am feeling quite lost in the kitchen atm! But I've just popped your crunble in the oven - I made it with apples and raspberries, as that's what I had on hand - it looks and smells great, and I can't wait to try it! :-). Your recipes look lovely, and the photography is wonderful. Blessings to you from Australia, Leanne xxx
Hi Leanne, thank you for such a lovely comment, and I hope you enjoyed the crumble! Wow, your diet really has changed, kudos to you for such a dramatic turn-around. I'm sure you'll notice good things very soon! Best wishes and happy healing 🙂
Hi, I'd like to try this wonderful dish! Could I use frozen fruit for this? Thanks!
Hi Lena. It all depends on what fruits you use. If they are going to give out a lot of liquid as they cook, they will likely make the topping soggy. I would be tempted to sprinkle a tbsp flour in the dish before you add the fruits and topping, to try and stop this from happening.
Nothing beats a good crumble and yes I too grew up with Birds custard, often used to have a bowl of it for pudding. I digress. I picked up a 5kg box of plums for $9au this morning and remembered this recipe. So guess whats for pud tonight?! Oh and I love the sound of the coconut milk on top... 🙂
Hi there- I can't get shortening here in Ireland- would coconut butter work for this instead do you think?
Hi Sara, if you can get hold of beef tallow or lard I would choose either one. Next choice is coconut oil.
I was wondering if the Spectrum butter flavored shortening is okay to eat on the AIP diet? I found some for a really good price.
I would be very suspicious about what's in the "natural butter flavor". I'm afraid I can't see it being AIP-friendly but your best bet is to email Spectrum and ask them the full ingredient list for the whole product (including the Annatto/Turmeric).
For what it's worth, I really like using lard and if you're asking the question because you want to make this crumble, lard would work extremely well here - just follow the instructions as for the shortening. Hope that helps.
I've been drying Italian Plums so I have them dried this winter, but couldn't resist using some for this crumble. So glad I did. Ones of the best crumbles I've ever had. Thanks for the recipe, it was delicious and easy to do.
Nancy, dried Italian plums sound AMAZING. I'm so honoured you chose to use them in my recipe - and am thrilled you loved it! 🙂
Stopped by to say thank you for sharing this amazing recipe. We ate the 4th pan of this delicious dish. It is beyond comforting and tasty. My non-aip husband was fighting with me for a bite. Note that he can eat whatever he wants to eat, and he found this crumble just delicious as is, not like "oh, it's good considering it's AIP". My sister made this dish in Ukraine, and it was a hit among her non-aip family.
Music to my ears, I have this vision of you and your husband fighting over crumble 😉
Thanks for letting me know.
Hi! I am following a Paleo/nightshade-free diet on the advice of my rheumatologist (RA) and she said that ghee is ok to cook with. Could I sub the lard for ghee? And would it be a 1:1 sub if so?
Sooooo excited to have found recipes on your site that remind me of England where I grew up (can't wait to try the sticky ginger one - YUM!)
Thanks in advance 🙂
Hi Pauline, if you're following the AIP you would remove ghee during the elimination phase and treat it as a reintroduction when your symptoms are under control. I haven't actually tested this recipe using ghee and do feel that lard would make a tastier crumble anyway. However if you try it, please do let me know how it turns out.
The sticky ginger pud will be amazing with ghee, I'm sure!!
Will give it a try with lard then. Oh wait - what about coconut oil? Or is that off limits for now too?
No coconut is good. Lard is still the better choice for this dessert though. ☺️
I would love to try this recipe, but I can’t stand the texture of shredded coconut. It feels gritty to me. Does this recipe have that coconut mouthfeel? Is there anything I might substitute for the shredded coconut?
If you don't like the texture of coconut this isn't going to be the recipe for you. If you tolerate nuts you could substitute almond or hazelnut meal which would be really tasty. Failing that I think it might be better if you look for another recipe.