We decided to try a recipe using a 'sable pastry base' thus elevating the humble crumble into something rather special. Ideal for mouse dinner parties. The recipe is given in full at the bottom of the post.
First we gathered blackberries from the hedgerows and apples from the
The sable pastry was made using icing sugar, butter, egg yolk and flour and is essentially a sweet light pastry. And the crumble has ground almonds in it... yum. It all sounds good, yes?
But this is where I have to tell you that the whole thing didn't quite work. The delicate pastry was pretty sticky and it was an almighty fiddle, blind baking it in tiny tins. It kind of rose like a sponge and became a less of a pastry base than a small cake. (I am guessing this was not supposed to happen?) Anyway I'm afraid the camera was abandoned as me and the mouse battled to save the situation.
The end result, as you can see, is something rustic rather than refined. It looks quite pretty on a Moulin Roty fruit dish though...
I definitely want to try again - and if anyone at all fancies having a go I would LOVE to hear what happens and would gladly share your pictures and tips on here. I am certain there is a very elegant but yummy little pud in this recipe - I just haven't quite nailed it.
The mice loved it though and ate it up with lots of clotted cream.
Miss Mouse's Miniature Apple and Blackberry Crumble
For the sable pastry
90g unsalted butter
110g icing sugar
1 large egg yolk
150g plain flour
For the filling
30g unsalted butter
3 large Bramley apples, peeled and roughly chopped
75g caster sugar
For the topping
40g unsalted butter, diced small
30g ground almonds
60g caster sugar
80g plain flour
Clotted cream to serve
First, make the sable pastry. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add egg yolk and mix well, then fold in the flour. Press the dough into a ball and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Meanwhile, for the filling, melt the butter in a pan, put in the apples and cook until they are soft. Add the blackberries and sugar, stir well until dissolved and remove from the heat.
For the crumble topping, rub in flour, almonds and butter to breadcrumbs then stir in the sugar.
To assemble the crumble: Grease four individual tart tins (or one 16cm size if you are a very large mouse). Roll out the sable pastry on a floured surface to 5mm thick, line the tins with the pastry, trim the edges and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 175*c / Gas mark 4.
Line four individual tart tins with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake blind for 10 minutes or so until the pastry is light golden. Remove the beans and the paper and fill with the apple mixture. Sprinkle the crumble over the top and bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Serve with Devonshire clotted cream.
(This recipe first appeared in the Independent ten years ago, and sadly I have lost the details of its original author. If it's you, or you recognise the recipe, please do let me know and I will credit it properly. In the meantime, we will let Miss Mouse take the glory.)