Recipe: Summer Apricot and Lavender Crumble (gluten-free!)

I am such a lunatic right now.  I’m bouncing off the walls and giggling madly at the completely insane set of tasks ahead of me this month.  And then someone sends me an email mentioning shiny metallic food paint and I want it right now!  I don’t need red food colouring – this is all natural.  Lucky Andrew… But December is never for sleeping if you’re a choir person, so it’s really hard to convince myself that this is a bad idea.

I’m also bouncing off the walls because I made a really, really delicious dinner, which included perfectly cooked steak (always surprising, since I make steak very, very rarely) on a lovely salad with asparagus and roasted peppers and and homemade roast garlic aioli, just in passing, because I had roast garlic and an egg yolk to use up, and it was all *really good* and the flavours balanced perfectly, but alas, I’ll never be able to replicate it, because I made it up as I went along.  So that’s not the recipe you’re getting.

Instead, you are getting the one which I actually bothered to measure and photograph as I went.  I even dictated all the quantities to my long-suffering Andrew.  I haven’t actually eaten this yet, because we only had dinner half an hour ago, but I know already that this is going to be one of the good desserts.  The apricots are beautifully fresh – my former boss’s wife has a cherry and apricot farm, and she brings produce into work to sell (I swapped a bag of jellies for a kilo of apricots), and I couldn’t resist using the lavender sugar I bought yesterday.  And then I thought, I haven’t done a gluten-free recipe for a while, so it’s gluten-free, too.  It’s a close relative of the Spring rhubarb crumble, but we’ve moved on from spring now.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we’re going to.

Your shopping list

1 kg apricots
2 tablespoons lavender sugar (or just add a teaspoon or two of dried culinary lavender to the rest of the sugar)
1/4 cup caster sugar + 50 g sugar for the topping
75 g butter or nuttelex
150 g coarse almond meal
50 g popped amaranth (it was in the pantry)
25 g shredded coconut (and I didn’t even know I had this, but why not?)
 

Now what will you do with it?

Halve and stone your apricots, and put them in a nice glass baking dish with the lavender sugar and 1/4 cup of caster sugar.  Toss around a bit.

Soften the butter in the microwave, and use your hands to work it into all the other ingredients.

Scatter the crumble topping over the apricots, and bake at 180°C for 30-45 minutes, until the apricots are soft and bubbly and the crumble topping is a bit browned.

I’d leave this to cool for 10 minutes before eating – Summer is no time for food that’s piping hot.  Serve with icecream.

Variations

Any stone fruit would be marvellous here.  If you can’t find popped amaranth, more coconut would do nicely, I’d think – amaranth has a slightly tropical flavour and light texture which would match fairly well.

You could also just bake the apricots with the lavender sugar and sugar, under some foil, and serve hot, warm or cold with icecream.  Or puree and put through cream, yoghurt or soy yoghurt for an apricot and lavender fool.  Which, come to think of it, you could then churn in an ice-cream maker to make ice-cream, though you’d probably want to add a bit more sugar first.  Now I want to do that.

This recipe is already gluten-free and vegan; if you want to do without nuts as well, you could always replace the ground almonds with self-raising flour, for a more traditional (and gluten-full) crumble, but I think you’d do better to just choose a standard crumble topping recipe that you like.

Honey or agave nectar might be nice instead of the sugar, but watch it, because it will brown very fast if you use either of these.

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7 responses to “Recipe: Summer Apricot and Lavender Crumble (gluten-free!)

  1. This sounds quite nice! I love the addition of the lavender sugar, it must work very well with the natural apricot and coconut fragrances.

    • Thank you! I think perhaps the coconut and lavender thing may have been pushing it a little far – it’s delicious, but it might have been better with a simpler, almondy crust and none of the tropical elements.

      It screams “best ever breakfast leftovers”, however!

  2. Oh dear lord yes to not sleeping if you’re in a choir at this time of year, but it’s also the insane workload and stress and other social commitments like weddings and not having thought of Christmas presents that is causing my insomnia. Please, please can I wakeup to find this in my oven for breakfast tomorrow? It sounds gorgeous 🙂

    • Argh, yes, we just developed a last minute wedding invitation in country Victoria this weekend! And I’m meant to be baking a birthday cake for a toddler who is allergic to a whole bunch of things I’m not good at cooking around the following weekend! And then there’s the ten separate work Christmas functions I’m involved in organising.

      As for presents… I think a lot of people will be getting confectionery!!

      Choir, though, is always a joy. I’m so very proud of my little work choir – it’s full of people who don’t sing a note from one year to the next and most of them don’t read music, but they are all so intelligent it hardly matters – they pick things up fast, and they sing in tune, they are brilliant at figuring out which person *is* singing the right notes and following them flawlessly, and if they make a mistake, it’s generally one that tunes in with the chord anyway. We had rehearsal number three today and it’s incredible how much it’s all come together in the last fortnight. Which is good, because we start singing our way around the corridors next Wednesday…

      • Oh how wonderful! There really is something magical about choirs like these/ours, where everyone is in it for the love and joy of it. It creates such a different atmosphere to so much else in life!

        This week I’ve got several huge deadlines on Friday, dress rehearsal during the day on Saturday, concert Saturday night, then have to be up ridiculously early to drive to Sydney on Sunday for the wedding, return Monday afternoon, and then have even more deadlines next week. I think a lot of my family might be getting “I ordered you something but it hasn’t arrived yet” Christmas cards 😛

    • PS: Yes indeed, we’ve just had the crumble and I can tell already it’s going to make an excellent breakfast. Maybe a bit less sugar next time, though – I’ll adapt the recipe accordingly.

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