As well as a handsome moustache and a penchant for white trousers, The Frenchman also has a strong liking for desserts. We made him this HF-W dish. He had three helpings.
Preparation time: 15 minutes plus 20 minutes chilling
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Skill level: easy
Serves: 4-6 (or one Frenchman)
For the topping
- plain flour – 80g
- light muscovado sugar – 80g
- caster sugar – 80g
- ground ginger – 1 tsp
- A good pinch of salt
- butter – chilled and cut into 1cm pieces – 80g
- blanched almonds – coarsely chopped – 80g
For the filling
- sweet or sour cherries – pitted – 450g
- apricots – pitted and quartered – 450g
- finely grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
- caster sugar – 70g (or about 20g more if you use sour cherries or the apricots are a bit tarty)
- 1 vanilla pod – split
Put the flour, sugars, ginger and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.
Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the nuts and cut them into the mixture with a knife.
Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile heat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5.
Put the cherries, apricots, lemon juice, zest and sugar in a bowl.
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the bowl.
(or in our case, open the vanilla pod tube bought from Saisbury’s earlier that morning and discover it to be empty, find receipt, grab Yumblog Junior, head back to Sainsbury’s, join queue at Customer ‘Services’, wait patiently in line and watch various idiots failing to communicate with one another, get handed replacement with a grunt, return home, etc.)
Stir everything together until well combined and tip into an ovenproof baking dish.
Take the topping out of the fridge and scatter over the fruit, squeezing together some of it into small chunks as you go (this will make the finished result more crunchy.)
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the top crisp and golden brown.
Serve warm with cream, crème fraîche, vanilla ice-cream or for added luxury Bird’s Dream Topping.
Verdict: As I said, The Frenchman ate three helpings. No other endorsement necessary.
Drink: Definitely not the half bottle of ‘Costcutters Creek’ bought and left by a friend on Friday night. You know who you are.
Entertainment: Calculating whether to have another helping or save space for the cheese board.