Berry Crumble

I loooove crumble. Any combination of fruit, as long as oats are in the topping!

An especially welcome dessert on a cold day. However, I do make a lovely Nectarine crumble with summer fruit too. You don’t need a season for a crumble!

As my father was a fruit grower, I grew up on crumbles of all sorts. We always had boxes of fruit in our garage along with an old chest freezer, in which to preserve some.

This is a particularly simple and basic crumble recipe which uses store cupboard and freezer ingredients.

The perfect pudding to cook in a caravan or tiny space as the equipment is minimal.

Below, I have added some more adventurous ideas, using fresh fruit. I often feel simplest is best and less is more!

You will notice I have written two ingredient lists.

The first is my usual topping and the second is a recent change, substituting the butter with a vegan alternative and the refined sugar with organic maple syrup and organic honey.

In the second version, which is the one in the photograph, I have used the ingredients in a slightly different order due to the sweetener being a liquid.

The new version worked very well with a slightly more dense less crumbly crumble topping, due to the syrup or honey. Choose your preferred version or combine both!

Portions: 4
Prep and Cook Time: Under an hour
Cookware: A deep oven dish and medium mixing bowl
Oven: 160C / Gas 3/4

First version

  • 300g frozen berries / fruit of choice
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar – to sweeten sharpness of berries
  • 75g wholewheat plain flour
  • 75g porridge oats (not jumbo)
  • 75g sugar (soft brown makes a more dense crumb, golden granulated or demerara makes a slightly crunchier crumb)
  • 100g butter – cubed

Second version

  • 300g frozen berries / fruit of choice
  • a drizzle of maple syrup or honey – to sweeten sharpness of berries
  • 75g wholewheat plain flour
  • 100g porridge oats (not jumbo) increase of oats as sweetener is a liquid
  • 100g vegan block (I use Naturli vegan block)
  • 80ml maple syrup or honey

Pour the frozen fruit into your baking dish. Add you chosen sweetener and put aside.

Version one: In the mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients then, with fingertips, lightly rub the butter cubes into the dry mixture until it resembles crumbs. Spoon on top of the fruit but do not flatten.

Version two: In the mixing bowl, combine the flour and oats then, using fingertips, lightly rub the vegan block into the dry mixture until it resembles sticky crumbs. Pour your chosen sweetener into the crumb and combine well using 2 soup spoons. Evenly pile the topping on to the fruit, do not flatten.

Pop into a medium oven 160c / Gas 3/4 for 30 minutes until the topping is golden and the fruit bubbles up the dish edges.


Allow to cool slightly before serving with yogurt, cream, crème fraîche, ice cream or simply as is!

Enjoy. I know you will!

Crumble ideas using fresh fruit combinations and extras:

  • chopped Bramley apples, honey and cinnamon
  • stoned plum or greengage halves with small crystallised ginger pieces
  • stoned sweet cherries with chopped almonds in the crumble
  • rhubarb / rhubarb and strawberry / rhubarb with desiccated coconut in crumble
  • apricot and peach with ground / flaked almonds in the crumble