This pudding never ceases to lift me: its comfort in a bowl – sticky moist fruit, topped with nutty crumble with a hint of coconut. But, there’s no sugar in it – I use dates as a sweetener – and if I am baking it for a crowd, then often a bit of agave/maple syrup for extra sweetness. It’s super quick and easy too: stew the fruit for a few minutes, grind up the crumble, sprinkle on top and bake until bubbling.
Personally I prefer grinding up whole almonds for the topping – to give a bit of crunch – but if you can’t be bothered, ready-ground almonds do the trick. Mix up the nuts as you desire – hazelnuts and Brazil nuts are good too.
I don’t have a very sweet tooth so I only use 4 medjool dates to sweeten the whole thing – both the fruit and the crumble. Experiment with what suits you best – you can always top up the date mix with agave/maple syrup: just taste before you oven bake the crumble.
You will need a pie dish which measures 20cm x 20cm (or similar dimensions).
Ingredients (4 servings)
Around 12 pieces of fruit – i.e. 8 plums and 4 large figs
4-6 medjool dates or 2 tablespoons of agave/maple syrup
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
Coconut oil – 1-2 teaspoons
175g of oats (gluten free or conventional)
100g of ground almonds/a mix of nuts
Preheat the oven to 160 (fan); 180 (conventional)
- Stone and cut the plums into chunks, the figs into quarters, and put into a saucepan.
Add a splash of water – enough to half cover the fruit – 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of agave/maple syrup to sweeten.
- Alternatively, if using dates as a sweetener, remove the stones, place in a blender with 250 ml of hot water and blitz to make a watery puree in which to simmer the fruit.
- Simmer for about 5 minutes until the fruit is just soft (you don’t want them meltingly soft yet!). Then pop the fruit into your pie dish with the some of the sticky puree. You want plenty of moisture still so the pudding doesn’t dry out in the oven. You’ll be using the rest of the puree to bind the crumble rather than lots of coconut oil.
- Add the coconut oil to the residual date puree in the saucepan and another teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Test for sweetness and add some maple syrup/agave syrup if you desire.
- If using whole nuts, blitz these in the blender for a few minutes to produce a crumb then add to the saucepan along with the porridge oats. Stir well – if you have not made the date puree, you may need to add some more water to moisten the oat and nut mix. Check for sweetness, and then spread the crumble on top of the fruit.
- Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes until the crumble has dried out to a golden brown and you can see the fruit layer bubbling through.
A splash of amaretto with the poached fruit elevates this pudding to (healthy) dinner party level and desiccated coconut added to the crumble works well.