Cakery Bakery: Cookie-dough crumble

Otherwise known as: The Dessert That Gets Weirder The More You Think About It But Is Actually Really Nice And, Moreover, Very Easy Indeed.

We had people over for dinner on Wednesday evening. It was a long, busy day and I didn’t have time to bake for dessert. So I found this, which has to be one of the quickest, throw-together puddings I’ve ever tried. And you never know when you might need one of those.

Fruit crumble with cookie dough on top sounded like an idea straight from the mind of Zeus when I first found it in my BBC Good Food book. I love crumble AND cookies, and the only two ingredients were ready-made, so it couldn’t be easier. We ran out to the supermarket at ten to five and bought two pots of ready-made cookie dough, and a carton of frozen fruit (the recipe suggests forest fruits, but I’m not a huge fan, so got some strawberries and blueberries instead). Yessss. The sausage, apple and sage pie was ready for the main course – best pie in the universe, in case you’re wondering; that one definitely came from the mind of Zeus – and now this wonder for afterwards.

Then I started thinking about it. Chocolate chips… and frozen fruit? Wouldn’t the fruit go all watery in the oven? How well would that mix with chocolate chip cookies? To make matters worse, I’d automatically bought custard to go with it, and the thought of combining partially-cooked chocolate chip cookie + possibly watery strawberries + custard, of all things, CUSTARD made me feel a little funny.

It was lovely to put together, though. I added sugar to the frozen fruit, thinking it might otherwise be a little tart. Then I pulled off bits of cookie dough and pinched them together on top, cobbler style. Beautifully satisfying, and it looked fabulous.

We ran into some baking difficulties when it came to the cooking time (it wouldn’t be Wednesday without them, would it?). The recipe said 20 minutes, but once we took it out, the cookie dough was still sludgy and partially cooked. We left it another ten minutes and matters hadn’t improved much, but we were on a deadline so ate it as it was. I think the dense supermarket cookie dough might have been to blame: next time I’ll make dough from scratch and see if it helps. Because, in fact, it was delicious. The fruit did produce a lot of juice underneath, and the cookie topping was more the consistency of cement than cookies. But for some reason, it worked. I try not to argue with stuff that tastes nice.

I’d be interested to try it with fresh fruit, as well, but not yet: buying that many strawberries out of season might actually bankrupt me.

SAM_7611

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(I’m afraid I didn’t get a photo after it had been in the oven. Since the dough didn’t cook all that well, it looked quite a lot like this. But hotter.)

Deliciousness: Weirdly irresistible. Would’ve been even better with a proper cookie texture on top.

Complexity: An assembly job of five minutes or less. You could keep the ingredients in your freezer and have it at short notice whenever you jolly well fancied.

Washing-up pile: One oven dish. Yes, really.

Casualties: It was heavy stuff, and we ate too much of it. Then spent the whole evening afterwards groaning in trouser-straining discomfort.

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