Served with cinnamon ice cream and brandy snaps. Fruit crumbles are extremely popular at Wickedfood cooking school, especially in a group cooking classes, and this recipe is a perennial favourite at La Petite Ferme restaurant in Franschhoek, that the staff dare not remove from the menu. Source a good vanilla ice cream, or use homemade to accompany the crumble. The recipe is from our cookbook-of-the-week,  Franschhoek Food.

Walnut Plum Crumble 500dpi 5x7cmp

24 firm just-ripe plums, quartered
400 g white sugar (or to taste)
2 sticks cinnamon
100 g whole star anise
1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise
water to cover
cinnamon ice cream

Crumble Topping

500 g butter
250 ml castor sugar
250 ml cake flour
15 ml ground cinnamon
100 g fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Brandy snaps

100 g butter
100 ml honey
300 g castor sugar
60 g cake flour
  1. Combine , sugar and spices in a large pan, and cover with the water. Bring to a simmer, stirring gently, until the sugar has dissolved. Continue simmering until the plums are tender but not mushy – the time will depend on the firmness and variety. Leave to cool, then drain the plums and remove their stones and the spices.
  2. Divide the plums among 4 ovenproof moulds or spoon them into one medium-sized flan dish.

Crumble Topping

  1. Melt the butter and stir in the castor sugar until well mixed.
  2. Stir in the flour and cinnamon, then add the mint and knead lightly until you have a soft, smooth dough.
  3. Chill in the fridge until firm enough to grate.
  4. Using the coarse side of a grater, grate the dough over the plums, then bake the dessert at 180°C for about 10 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.

Brandy snaps

  1. Melt the butter and honey together.
  2. Add the castor sugar and beat until the mixture is thick and creamy, then stir in the flour. Chill the dough until firm.
  3. Roll small chunks of dough into balls, and place on a greased baking tray, well spaced to allow for spreading. Bake at 180°C for 10-12 minutes, until the snaps are a deep golden brown.
  4. Remove and leave to cool for a few minutes until they are not too hot to handle. Either mould them around an oiled spoon handle to make ‘cigars’ or cut into desired shapes. This recipe makes about 24.

To Serve

  1. Accompany portions of plum crumble with a scoop of ice cream and finish with a brandy snap.

Serves 4-6

Wickedfood Cooking School

Sunninghill – (011) 234-3252

Wickedfood Cooking School in Johannesburg runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built cooking studios. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). This team building venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.

Our classes are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.