Following my last entry, Bstrong (downsyndromelife.blogspot.com) wondered if I’d publish my wife’s bramble crumble recipe. I thought it would be pretty straightforward until, while we were eating breakfast this morning, I casually asked Maggie how it was made. This turned out to be far more challenging than I could have guessed.
The problem is not that my wife is secretive with ancient family recipes, only handed down between mother and daughter since the time before the Romans invaded Britain. No, the problem lies in the fact that she is one of these cooks who rarely measures anything – nearly everything is done by eye and instinct.
When I try to follow recipes from books, I get fed up with the lack of complete information in them. It’s not just a case of wondering how to convert Fahrenheit into Celcius, but things like ‘how to turn the oven on’ that are missing from these texts.
Maggie, on the other hand, sees recipes as a rough guide only. When asking her about quantities it tends to be “some of this, a bit of that, sprinkle that on the top, mix in a blob of this…” and so on. So trying to pin her down to get enough information to write something that might be of any use to anyone reading this blog has been quite an adventure.
With that in mind, I apologise if you need more to go on, and would suggest that you hand this recipe over to someone who knows what they are doing and you can do your own metric conversions. I’m also unsure if American ounces or pounds are the same as British ones…
- Rub 4 ounces of butter into 8 ounces of self-raising flour (or a mix of flour and oats), then mix in about 4 ounces of sugar (brown or white – it’s up to you).
- Place 1 pound of blackberries (or any fruit you want) into an oven-proof dish and sprinkle on sugar (how much sugar gets very vague at this point – “to taste” is my wife’s phrase – as it depends on how sweet or sharp the fruit is – but it could be up to a couple of ounces). Mix it together.
- Pour the flour/butter/sugar mix onto the top and place into an oven for about 40 minutes (or “until it looks ready…”) at Gas Mark 4 or 5
Serves one to six people, depending on your lifestyle.
Serve with thick fresh cream, or good quality vanilla ice cream. Eat until nearly sick and have gained several pounds in weight.