Pumble, 20p [VG/V/DF]
This cheeky little number is a cross between a pie and a crumble, a hot sweet pile of stewed fruits beneath a crumbly puff pastry topping. I admit to approaching my pies with borderline religious fervour; that is, in order to qualify as a pie, it must have a base and walls and a lid. This does not meet my high pie standards, but it is undeniably adorable in itself, and so the Pumble was born. You can use any kind of fruit here – I have made both an apple and a banoffee version – and am dreaming of a zesty tinned peach and mandarin version with a smattering of lime juice, too. The Pumble is a simple first recipe for children, too, who may be curious about helping in the kitchen.
Serves 4-6 from 20p each. Prices at Asda and checked online at time of writing.
500g pears (tinned or fresh), 70p (70p/500g mixed size, Farm Stores at Asda)
2 tbsp sugar, 1p (64p/1kg, Silver Spoon at Asda)
1/2 tsp cinnamon or mixed spice, 1p (65p/100g, TRS brand at Asda)
190g puff pastry, 50p (£1.00/375g, Asda)
First grab an ovenproof dish or cake tin of a medium size. You know, the kind of size that would comfortably fit a pudding in it, that if you imagined it with your eyes, you would comfortably enjoy a sixth of.
Then turn your oven on to 180C and make sure yoi have a shelf roughly in the middle of it.
Finely slice your pears and lay them in the bottom of the dish, in layers. I never bother to peel soft-skinned fruit at the best of times, as so much goodness lays beneath the skin, and pears can be slippery little customers once their juicy innards are exposed – so seriously, don’t bother. Work quickly so as to minimize the enzymic browning on the surface – that is the slight discolouration that speckles across cut fruits and vegetables but especially so with avocadoes, apples, pears and bananas. You can halt it in its tracks with a splash of lemon or orange juice if you are a slow worker.
When the fruit is all cut, sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar and pop it in the oven for 15 minutes.
Grab a baking tray and lightly grease it. Roll out your pastry and cut it into as many small circles as you can. I used a plastic shot glass because I didn’t have the right sized cookie cutter, so you can be creative with this one. Set to one side until the first 15 minutes for the pears are done, then pop them in the oven for 12 minutes more. (If you wish to glaze them, 2 tbsp of any milk shaken with a little oil will do the trick).
When the pastry puffs are light and fluffy, stack them on top of the softened juicy pears and serve. This, my friends, is Pumble.
(You may notice I have changed from pricing my recipes at Sainsburys after 6 years of comsistently doing so. Sainsburys are major donors to the Conservative Party and I can no longer in good conscience promote them on my website. I will be pricing my recipes at other supermarkets from now on.)
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