Sunday, October 16, 2011

Plum Crumble and other stuff ...

It's only a week since I completed Kielder marathon, but it feels like a lifetime ago. Yet again, I've been trying to write here all week and time, like a runaway train, has escaped me. Even now, it's 10:10pm and my bed is calling but first, this post.

I've been trying top make plum crumble all week too, and finally succeeded today. I fancied making a plum crumble, flavoured with almond, as that is a great flavour combination, but how to add the almond ? Here is what I did. Please excuse the lack of a photo, the camera has suddenly decided to cease working, which is annoying as I've had a 'I wanna take a photo' kind of weekend.


Enough plums to cover the base of your dish, I used about 10
Sugar to sprinkle
A little water
Marzipan, 50g or so
Crumble mix (sshhhhh), small packet of
Ground almonds, 2-3 tbsp

Preheat the oven to 200 deg.
1. Quarter the plums, removing and discarding the plum stones as you go.
2. Layer the plum quarters in your dish
3. Sprinkle the plums with a little water. This creates a little extra 'jus' as the plums warm and yield their juices.
4. Sprinke a couple of spoonfuls of caster sugar over the plums (to taste), if the plums are sweet use less sugar.
5. Pick some marzipan from the block of marzipan, and roll it into small balls, and dot them around the sugary plums.
6. Sprinkle the marzipan and plums with ground almonds, to layer that almond flavour.
7. Tip the crumble mix over the fruit and grouns almonds.
8. Sprinkle with a litle sugar to help the top caramelize.

Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes, by which time the juices will be purpley bubbling, and the top slightly brown. Allow to cool a little, and serve with icecream, cream or custard.

A perfect Autumn warmer.

A postcript to this is that the crumble tasted not one jot of almond, and so was a little disappointing. I will try the leftovers tomorrow and see if there is a hint of almond anywhere at all in the dish.

So, to enhance the almondy flavour thing - next time I make this, I am going to do this:

1. Replace the water above with the equivalent amount of amaretto. An almondy flavour liquer - yum!
2. Replace the ground almonds with amaretti biscuits, which incidentally are made using ground almonds and amaretto liqueur. If I was making my own crumble mix I would definitely add the biscuits to the crumble mix too.

This intensified almondy flavour I am hoping will come through once the crumble is cooked. I'm looking forward to trying the variation - just as soon as I can buy the ingredients.:o)

On a totally different subject, after a week of rest, I am ready to start training for my next marathon. This time I want a flat one. One problem I am having is finding advice on running a marathon, or training for a marathon, after having just completed one. I guess most people aren't mad enough to do one so soon a are they ? Am I supposed to taper ? Start from square one? Do more speed work ? If anyone has any advice on training soon after a marathon I'd be glad to hear it. I think I would have been able to run about 3 days after the race, and I did just a paltry 2 miles this week, on Thursday which was 5 days after my marathon. I'm looking forward to getting back into it properly next week.

One other thing that made this an amazing week, my little CC passed both of her 11+ exams for two different grammar schools. We're out of catchment for one school, but in catchment for the other, so I am sleeping a little easier with those 2 passes in the bag. Phew!

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