Tutti-Frutti Crumble

>> Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dear sixteen-years-old-me,

Take your head outta the books once in a while yea? There's so much more you can learn outside the books.

Play more basketball, there's still a chance you could grow taller.

Ten minutes of piano and violin just before the lessons ain't the way to go. You will find that music will stay with you for life and become one of your escapes during the times you're down.

Matching jeans and denim jackets? No!

Slow down, stop worrying - you're doing fine. You can't be everything you want to be...but you'll eventually see the bigger picture in life that's found in your faith in the Lord Jesus. 

You don't hang with the cool kids and you'd rather hang in the library at lunch time. But deep down, you wish you could be less awkward and fit in. Guess what, one day you're actually going to laugh at all this and think, who'd want to 'fit in' when you can be...you? You'll get me one day.

Don't be scared of talking to boys. They might seem like another species right now, but they aren't as scary as you might think and one day they will actually shower instead of pile on the cologne (most of them anyways).

Everytime you want to roll your eyes at your parents? Don't. They might not always be right. But they're probably just scared about raising a teenager and are still learning. So be nice. And one day, you'll come to understand the all sacrifices they made for you to be where you are.

Put more effort in Chinese School (and don't cheat in tests!). You'll find the importance of the language as you grow up and ponder about your culture and identity.

What are you doing to your body? Those potato chips, choc chip cookies, snicker bars and ice-cream every day ain't gonna help you fit into that dress for your cousin's wedding (true but sad story). A fruit crumble would've been a better choice perhaps.

Cherish your friends. Some will stay with you for years to come.

Be grateful everyday. 

And when in doubt, pray.


twentysomething me.

So the other day I made a fruit crumble using all the fruits that I have in my fridge....

Pineapple, apples (I used both Granny Smith and Fuji), cherries and frozen blueberries.

Maybe I'll call it the clean-up-your-fridge crumble.

And I couldn't wait to try the healthier crumble idea from Heidi's cookbook Super Natural Everyday, which uses spelt flour, oats and poppy seeds! I also added in some walnuts just because...nuts are good.

Toss all the fruits together with a little bit of corn starch. Depending how sweet the fruits you are using, I didn't add any additional sugar to the fruit mix and it was sweeeet as already!

A good idea is to make the crumble mixture into patties and freeze them slightly before you break them into different sized pieces!

Bake away until bubbling and golden brown...


I am just realising now that I didn't add a scoop of ice-cream as usual...I actually forgot. I must've been side-tracked. Because eating the fruit crumble by itself was...so good. It was like having a delicious fruit party in your mouth. And the poppy seed/oat crumble? It's crunchy, it's light and addictive. I will be using this for many more future crumbles in my life.

I have also realised that I have more crumble recipes on this blog than anything else! Five in total! I guess then if there's a type of dessert that describes me, it must be a fruit crumble :D

Tutti-Frutti Crumble
Adapted from Natural Home and Garden
Serves 8 to 10

  • 3/4 cup / 3 oz / 85 g spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour (I used spelt)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup / 1.5 oz / 45 g rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (a handful)
  • 1/2 cup / 2.5 oz / 70 g natural cane sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup / 2.5 oz / 70 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon all-natural cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup / 1.5 oz / 45 g natural cane sugar or muscovado sugar (I omitted this because the fruits are already so sweet!)
  • 11/2 cups / 6 oz / 170 g blueberries (frozen)
  • 1/2 medium sized pineapple, diced
  • 2 Granny Smith apple + 1 Fuji apple, diced
  • 11/2 cups / 6 oz / 170 g sweet cherries, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 cup / 1 oz / 30 g dried currants (omitted)
  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml Beaujolais wine  (omitted)
Note: The original recipe calls for strawberries, raspberries and dried currants as well as cherries.

1. Preheat the oven to 375F / 190C with a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter an 8-inch / 20cm square baking dish.

2. To make the crumble, mix together the flour, poppy seeds, oats, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Use a fork to stir in the melted butter. Divide the mixture into three portions and use your hands to form three patties. Place the patties in the bowl and freeze for at least 10 minutes, or until you’re ready to bake.

3. Make the filling by whisking together the cornstarch and sugar in a large bowl. Add the blueberries, apples, pineapple, cherries and toss until evenly coated. Wait 3 minutes, add the Beaujolais, and toss again.

4. Transfer the filling to the prepared baking dish. Remove the topping from the freezer and crumble it over the filling, making sure you have both big and small pieces.

5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the topping is deeply golden and the fruit juices are vigorously bubbling. Let cool a little before serving, 20 to 30 minutes.

Happy weekend ahead :)

What would you say to your sixteen-years-old self?


Anonymous,  August 19, 2011 at 12:09 AM  

Wow, what a combination! I have to try this!

PFx August 19, 2011 at 1:08 AM  

Hahaha! I did the exact same thing last week with my friends, before headin up for my overseas trip(which is now). I'm glad that I've got to stay in Wellington tho.
It's true... 16 is such a sweet time. I was feeling on top the world too! I'm always jealous of my cuz who got to study in Chinese school when I was 6. Now they don't remember anything nor the hours and $$$ their parents spent on musical instruments. I guess you need the passion too.
Hey with such cheerful treat like your crumble, you should be able to be 16 again in no time! ;D

Erika Beth, the Messy Chef August 19, 2011 at 2:30 AM  

I lost weight once eating cookies. I swear! But I probably would have lost more if I replaced the cookies with this yummy tutti-frutti crumble!

Mitinita August 19, 2011 at 7:27 AM  

I've made a plum crumble with maple syrup...loved the combination!

Maris (In Good Taste) August 19, 2011 at 10:19 AM  

Awesome combination! I love crumbles!

sugarpuffi August 19, 2011 at 10:56 AM  

gah! i havent had tutti frutti for such a long time! sorry but i chortled when i read the wedding dress bit :/

Joanne August 19, 2011 at 11:13 AM  

GAH. I wish I could have told my sixteen-year-old self these things also! And so much more. I also wish my sixteen-year-old self could have baked a crumble as awesome as this!

Nami | Just One Cookbook August 19, 2011 at 2:41 PM  

What a cute letter to young version of yourself. You are very good writer not only (obvious but) great photographer. The crumbles look yummy and yes, without ice cream. ;-) By the way, I also love those Asian looking bowl... :-)

Dolly August 19, 2011 at 5:35 PM  

i really enjoy the palate of colour.. i tried making a crumble last month. didnt turn out as good :( and definitely not as colour as urs!!!

hanushi August 19, 2011 at 8:57 PM  

Viv, saw your message about overbeating or underbeating of egg whites. Here's a video that I hope will be useful to you! :)


Good luck!! :)

Jeannie August 19, 2011 at 10:27 PM  

A very healthy breakfast option indeed! Love all the fruits you've added to your fruity crumble......yummy!

Von August 19, 2011 at 10:36 PM  

Ngaww....I don't think I'm that different to the 16-year old me at the moment :) haha...I sometimes wish my parents had sent me to chinese school! I've never seen a crumble topping quite like this before- it looks super delicious and I want to try it!!

Jean August 20, 2011 at 12:53 AM  

looks like a delicious combination! well im 20-something, but I'm still eating unhealthy like a teenager...inspired! :)

Heidi @ Food Doodles August 20, 2011 at 2:58 AM  

Aw, I love your letter to yourself. I'd have a lot of similar things to say to myself :D
Your crumble looks delicious. The color is so pretty and I love the mixture of fruit. I love crumbles too, I have no idea why I haven't posted more of them! They're such a perfect way to use up fruit and everyone in my house loves them.

Karen August 21, 2011 at 5:46 PM  

Most delicious crumble! Great combination of fruit and the topping is to die for.

Anonymous,  August 22, 2011 at 8:20 AM  

I love this post, Viv! So true.... and yet, if you're like me, I doubt the 16-year-old version would have taken any of it to heart =) The wisdom of aging.

Aizi August 22, 2011 at 9:00 PM  

once again, such a good post! i have often thought about what i d say to my 16 year old self, but i think i d have laughed and still made the same mistakes...
ps. love crumbles too. should make more of those!

KayB August 22, 2011 at 9:01 PM  

double denim, aaarrggghh! Sadly, I can sympathise with you. Will be trying this recipe out!

Vivian - vxdollface August 22, 2011 at 10:13 PM  

Aaw I did most things your sixteen year old self did too :P ..though I played basketball but the height somehow hasn't transferred through T_T I wish I didn't eat so much junk back then! Love your crumble though, I need a fridge clean out soon too :)

Juliana August 23, 2011 at 6:44 AM  

Viv, what a nice crumble, love the combination of all different fruits. Love your letter ;-)
Hope you have a wonderful week ahead :-)

Culinary School: Three Semesters of Life, Learning, and Loss of Blood August 23, 2011 at 9:33 AM  

So sweet. My chef was right when he said we eat, first, with our eyes.

Zoe August 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM  

I'm "pinching" your idea of cleaning the bits and pieces of the fringes and pantry.

This crumble looks very yummy and healthy with all the wholesome ingredients.

Torviewtoronto August 23, 2011 at 12:55 PM  

delicious looking crumble lovely combination I haven't had like this in a crumble
love the post with the birds we don't get parrots in the backyard they look colourful in the grass

Lori August 24, 2011 at 7:28 AM  

Love this! And that crumble looks amazing! Honestly I'd tell the 16 yo me that all this isn't important. It will pass and life in your late 20s and 30s is so much more fun! :)

Brownieville Girl August 24, 2011 at 10:14 PM  

I'd tell my 16 year old self not to worry about what other people think!

Delicious crumble - and so little fat, a must try.

Anonymous,  August 25, 2011 at 1:39 AM  

This topping was so delicious, Viv! I had it for breakfast =) The poppyseed is such an unexpected, nice touch. Thanks for turning us on to it. Thanks for your comment about the udon.... the fish cake is a great addition. Wanted to ask you, do you buy the fish cake? Have you tried making it? Any tips?

Anonymous,  August 25, 2011 at 2:57 AM  

I loved this post. There are so many things that I would like to say to my 16 year old self.

tartedujour August 25, 2011 at 6:24 AM  

I love your letter to your sixteen year old self! You are a wise person! I should write a letter to my 20 something self from my forty something self.

Jessica's Dinner Party August 25, 2011 at 6:41 AM  

What good advise! Wish I was reading this as a sixteen year old.

Cookie and Kate August 25, 2011 at 12:26 PM  

Oh Viv, that crumble looks absolutely perfect! I love that you used all whole grains. I really want to try this one.

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