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Jumbleberry Crumble Topping Not Baked

Asked by GoddessInProgress. Answered on 25th April 2016

Full question

Hi! I had the Jumbleberry Crumble mix ready in my freezer, as well as frozen berries for a while and finally decided to give it a try today. My very first experiment did not turn out very well and I am not sure what I did wrong. I halved the doses recommended for the cup and baked the crumble in a ramekin. I checked at 15 minutes but the topping did not look done at all so I left it in for 5 more minutes. Then, as the topping still looked uncooked, I moved the ramekin to the highest rack of the oven. I allowed 2-3 more minutes but when I retrieved the ramekin, surprisingly it still looked not done. Its appearance was kind of powdery. I tasted the result only to confirm that the top was not properly cooked, while the fruit underneath - since its juices had been bubbling for a while - appeared to be starting to dry out. Please, do you have any suggestions as to what might have gone wrong? All ingredients have been mixed together according to the recipe and I had never experienced a problem with a recipe by Nigella before. Thanks in advance! Lucia

Our answer

Nigella's Jumbleberry Crumble (from NIGELLA EXPRESS) is a recipe for individual crumbles where the topping and mixed fruits can be kept in the freezer and then baked in individual portions when required. The crumble topping has fairly standard ratios of half fat to four, plus a little sugar and baking powder.

The crumbles are small and baked at a high temperature so the 20 minute cooking time should be ebough to cook the top and the filling. The crumble topping will still be fairly fine and sand-like in texture when cooked. However we suspect that the topping may not have browned that much in the oven. When the ramekin is filled with berries and sprinkled with the topping, the the filling and crumble topping it should sit level with, or slightly above, the lip of the ramekin. As the fruit cooks it sinks down slightly in the ramekin, with the crumble sitting on top, so is unlikely to spill out durning baking (though you may want to put the crumble on a baking sheet to catch any drips of juice). But if the ramekin is slightly large and the crumble sits below the lip of the ramekin before baking, then the crumble will be shielded by the walls of the ramekin, will not be so directly exposed to the heat and may not brown or take on much colour. But it should still be cooked after 20 minutes.

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