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Spiced Plum and Blackberry Crumble

Flavored with star anise and cinnamon, here is an autumnal riff on the venerable crumble. Published two years ago in GoodFood Magazine, we’ve tweaked the recipe by adopting GoodFood’s own more recent advice (see Very-Berry Oat Crumble) on achieving the crispiest crumble: par-baking the topping ahead of time means as well that the rest of the dish is more easily put together closer to mealtime, ensuring you’ll have a nice warm pudding to serve at meal’s end.

Serve with Silky Smooth Custard or vanilla ice cream. Recipe serves 4, but is easily doubled.

Spiced Plum and Blackberry Crumble

2.5 oz. all-purpose flour (½ cup plus 1 tbs.)
2.5 oz. cold butter, cut into dice (5 tbs.)
1.5 oz. light brown sugar (4 tbs., not packed)
1 oz. oats (¼ cup)

For the fruit filling:

16 oz. ripe plums, halved/quartered/sliced into wedges, depending on size
1 tbs. light brown sugar
2 tsp. all-purpose flour
1 star anise
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. lemon juice
6 oz. blackberries

Heat the oven to 400°F. Put the flour, butter, sugar, and oats in a bowl, squash together with your fingers into a crumble texture, sprinkle over a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, stirring and roughly breaking up halfway through cooking. Set aside. Can be done up to 2 days ahead, and stored in an airtight container (or frozen for longer storage).

Tip all of the fruit ingredients except the blackberries into an ovenproof dish. Add 2 tbs. water and stir to combine. Cover with foil and bake (at 400°F) for 1 hour. Remove the foil and discard the star anise. Add the blackberries to the dish, sprinkle over the par-baked crumble mixture and return the dish (uncovered) to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes until the top is golden.

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