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Strawberry and Almond Crumble

by . Featured in KITCHEN
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Introduction

If I’d had to choose one thing that cooking could not make better, I’d have put good money on its being a bad (as in unripe and tasteless) strawberry. I’d be embarrassed even to own up to trying to improve it, were it not for the fact that I read an article by Saint Simon of Hopkinson in which he advised using said strawbuggers in a pie. So I did. Well, that’s not quite true: I am lazier than he is, so I made a crumble. I don’t know what, how or why it happened, but this is a crumble of dreams. The oven doesn’t, as you’d think, turn the berries into a red-tinted mush of slime, but into berry-intense bursts of tender juiciness. This is nothing short of alchemy: you take the vilest, crunchiest supermarket strawberries, top them with an almondy, buttery rubble, bake and turn them on a cold day into the taste of English summer. Naturally, serve with lashings of cream: I regard this is as obligatory not optional.

If I’d had to choose one thing that cooking could not make better, I’d have put good money on its being a bad (as in unripe and tasteless) strawberry. I’d be embarrassed even to own up to trying to improve it, were it not for the fact that I read an article by Saint Simon of Hopkinson in which he advised using said strawbuggers in a pie. So I did. Well, that’s not quite true: I am lazier than he is, so I made a crumble. I don’t know what, how or why it happened, but this is a crumble of dreams. The oven doesn’t, as you’d think, turn the berries into a red-tinted mush of slime, but into berry-intense bursts of tender juiciness. This is nothing short of alchemy: you take the vilest, crunchiest supermarket strawberries, top them with an almondy, buttery rubble, bake and turn them on a cold day into the taste of English summer. Naturally, serve with lashings of cream: I regard this is as obligatory not optional.

Strawberry and Almond Crumble
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 6

Metric Cups

For the Filling:

  • 500 grams strawberries (hulled)
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 25 grams ground almonds
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Topping:

  • 110 grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 75 grams cold butter (diced)
  • 100 grams flaked almonds
  • 75 grams demerara sugar
  • double cream (to serve)

For the Filling:

  • 1 pound strawberries (hulled)
  • ¼ cup superfine sugar
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Topping:

  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter (diced)
  • 1¼ cups slivered almonds
  • ½ cup turbinado sugar
  • heavy cream (to serve)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6/400ºF. Put the hulled strawberries into your pie dish, I use a round ovenproof pie dish approx. 21cm diameter x 4cm deep (approx. 1.25 litre capacity) / 8 inches diameter x 2 inches deep (approx. 1¼ quarts capacity), and sprinkle over them the sugar, almonds and vanilla extract. Give the dish a good shake or two to mix the ingredients.
  2. Now for the crumble topping: put the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and rub in the cold, diced butter between thumb and fingers (or in a freestanding mixer). When you’ve finished, it should resemble rough, pale oatmeal. Stir in the flaked almonds and sugar with a fork.
  3. Tip this over the strawberry mixture, covering the strawberries in an even layer and giving a bit of a press in at the edges of the dish. Set the dish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, by which time the crumble topping will have darkened to a pale gold and some pink-red juices will be seeping and bubbling out at the edges.
  4. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving, and be sure to put a jug of chilled double cream on the table alongside.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6/400ºF. Put the hulled strawberries into your pie dish, I use a round ovenproof pie dish approx. 21cm diameter x 4cm deep (approx. 1.25 litre capacity) / 8 inches diameter x 2 inches deep (approx. 1¼ quarts capacity), and sprinkle over them the sugar, almonds and vanilla extract. Give the dish a good shake or two to mix the ingredients.
  2. Now for the crumble topping: put the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and rub in the cold, diced butter between thumb and fingers (or in a freestanding mixer). When you’ve finished, it should resemble rough, pale oatmeal. Stir in the slivered almonds and sugar with a fork.
  3. Tip this over the strawberry mixture, covering the strawberries in an even layer and giving a bit of a press in at the edges of the dish. Set the dish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, by which time the crumble topping will have darkened to a pale gold and some pink-red juices will be seeping and bubbling out at the edges.
  4. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving, and be sure to put a jug of chilled heavy cream on the table alongside.

Tell us what you think

What 8 Others have said

  • I just made this (currently enjoying my 2nd helping). Delicious! I substituted the almond flake for almond meal as I didnt have any. Worked fine. Nom, nom, nom

    Posted by Yassy79 on 24th May 2016
  • I've made this 3 times and it's always a hit! I do add 2 tablespoons of whole oats to the crumble topping. I serve it with a big scoop of good vanilla ice cream, scrumptious!

    Posted by knittingaddict on 4th August 2015
  • I have used this recipe before, after scribbling it down whilst watching Nigella on the TV and loved it! But I lost the recipe so have come to the site to find it again and thought I would add my comment. I use my home grown strawberries for this crumble and it is so delicious I think I could eat a whole one myself! My family and friends adore it too. I agree with you Nigella, it has to be alchemy to make such a delicious dessert. Thanks for the recipe.

    Posted by hpotter45 on 10th February 2014
  • This is one of my most favorite things....ever. I make it all the time. Just brilliant. Its exactly like Nigella said: its English summer on a winter's day.

    Posted by paultpeden on 19th January 2014
  • I made this the other night but used plums instead as I have a plum tree and it worked amazingly well. I did add a tablespoon of cornflour to the plums as they are more watery then strawberries. This helps thicken the sauce a little. I have made the strawberry version many times and love it also.

    Posted by Ammonite on 12th September 2014
  • I've made this recipe about four times now and it's a hit every time. Yum!! This website is the BEST and has become one of my kitchen e-bibles!

    Posted by Jazzyparnts on 5th August 2013
  • Hiya, I am Bal from Nottingham. Would like to say I can't wait to try and make this strawberry and crumble dish it looks very tasty. and I will be back with my comment to say how it turned out ... watch this space ...bal

    Posted by balbir.digwa on 4th July 2013
  • I'm an English woman living in South Africa. I tried this recipe on friends the other night - two Germans and two South Africans - they all raved. It was absolutely delicious. Nigella's recipes are beguiling.

    Posted by Bozzie on 3rd May 2013
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