Strawberries usually flood the market early spring in Australia, meaning the Queensland and Western Australian strawberry growers have overproduced again with little profit to gain. Even though as a consumer I profit from this unforeseen blunder due to weather, my heart is with the farmer as they deserve to gain from their hard work.
When I think crumble, I think of apples, pears and summer berries with oat and coconut crumble topping. But I wanted to make a crumble in spring. A crumble that took little time to prep and cook, a perfect dish for a weekend brunch, or a dessert for when friends visit and don’t mind chatting in the kitchen between courses. So with an abundance of cheap strawberries in the markets and a packet of dried figs in the cupboard, I threw caution to the wind and added chopped ginger, thinking it would be a perfect flavour compliment to give a warm spicy flavour. I also thought, why not add a puffed grain instead of oats and use a few favourite nuts for crunch. I don’t think it matters which puffed grain you choose: amaranth, millet or brown rice are acceptable, yet realise the puffed grains differ in size with amaranth being the smallest. I selected to use pistachios as their bright green colour contrasted beautifully with the red strawberries; yes, it’s a visual reason, so it matters little if you prefer almonds. Since the strawberries are cooked over a high heat before they’re baked in the oven with the crumble, the strawberries can be fresh or frozen, making this crumble versatile and not seasonally restricted to spring. I used both a copper and iron frying pans to bake the crumble in and both worked a treat.
· Strawberries rank amongst the top 10 fruits and vegetables in antioxidants.
· Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamins C and K and provide a good dose of fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium.
V, SF, GF, DF
For the crumble:
5 soft dried figs, roughly chopped
3 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
¼ cup pistachios or almonds
½ cup puffed buckwheat
½ cup flaked coconut
2 tablespoons maple syrup
For the filling:
5 cups strawberries
1 vanilla bean, deseeded
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup rice malt syrup
¼ cup chia seeds
Preheat the oven to 180’C (350’F/ Gas Mark 4). Place the crumble ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside. Place the strawberries, vanilla bean seeds, cinnamon and rice malt syrup in a saucepan over high heat and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add chia seeds, stirring to combine and let sit for a few minutes for the chia seeds to start to jell. Spoon mixture into a tart pan and top with crumble. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the crumble is golden brown. Serve warm with coconut yogurt and fresh strawberries.