did you think I’d crumble..



Crumble is an apposite word for this time of year when the testing dullness of January reduces resolution to surrender. That enervating post Christmas week, which gave us pause to recognise that we must change ourselves for the better, slough off that old skin and renew ourselves is now several long weeks in the past. Maybe Narcissus should be the patron of New Year’s resolutions as our view of better tends toward thinner rather than kinder: giving up sugar in our diet is far easier than giving our time to others. So, as January draws to a close, when the mirror has confirmed that our Narcissistic resolve has been to little or no avail, it becomes clear that there must be a rapprochement: a relaxation in the self imposed, strict dietary regulations. There must be compromise. There must be crumble.

Foremost among the wonders of crumble is the simplicity and speed of its creation. When a recipe promises to be ready after 20 minutes preparation and 30 minutes cooking I am suspicious. Experience has shown me that such promises are akin to a politician’s pre election commitments….they are snake oil, a sales pitch…they are unfounded in reality. After hours of frustrated toil I have viewed and reviewed, despairingly, through flour and egg caked spectacles, at recipes that offered such short routes to pleasure. They were fools’ gold…they were bollocks.

I have long been a devotee of the crumble. Long enough to have learnt never to make a New Year’s resolution. A good maxim would be that one should do enough running when young to allow for time to crumble in peace in later years. Whilst shopping I was mulling over this thought when a tray of mangoes, each of which seemed to be attired in its own string vest*, caught my attention. So often mangoes, in the same way as quick recipes, offer so much more than they can deliver but these mangoes were, casting the string vests aside, as Catherine Deneuve in “Belle du Jour” is to a world weary hooker in Kings Cross. They were definitely to be picked up. As an added bonus, they came with a recipe for Crumble à la Mangue…..which is a total delight and confirms in my mind that it’s better to eat a Marathon (now known as Snickers) than to run one….the Spartan who started that insanity only did it because it came with the alternative of death.

Mango Crumble
2 mangoes
100gms unsalted butter
150gms flour
80gms sugar
a pinch of cinnamon
2tbsp powdered almonds
a pinch of Quatre Épices

Mix 75gms of the butter, softened, with the flour, sugar(keeping 1tbsp back), the cinnamon and powdered almonds in a food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs.
Peel and cut the mango flesh into strips. Warm them in a pan, over a low heat, with the rest of the butter, the reserved sugar and the Quatre Épices.
Spread the warmed mangoes over the base of an oven proof dish (or in separate ramekins), cover with the crumble and cook for 20mins in a preheated oven at 200C.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2015, Almonds, Baking, Cooking, crumble, desserts, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Fruit, Mango, Mango Crumble, Photography, photography course, Recipes, Shopping, Still life, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to did you think I’d crumble..

  1. I was expecting a photo of mango in a string vest when I clicked on the link 😉 Mango has to be my very favourite fruit and crumble is up there in my favourite dessert list so mango crumble….’nuff said!

  2. suej says:

    Well, this is a new one on me…cooked mango! I have only EVER eated mango cold. As I have one sitting patiently in the fridge, I may just have to make this tomorrow (tonight is already sorted, in the guise of chocolate gateau and warm berries…

  3. Mad Dog says:

    You can trust a crumble it’s worth voting for 😉

  4. Angeline M says:

    A Mango Crumble…..sounds like a dance.

  5. Francesca says:

    I have never thought of crumbling mangos- they arrive in summer time here and crumbles are the last thing on my mind, but I can imagine in the depths of winter in your neck of the woods, crumbling them would be an interesting option, as well as crumbling in general- crumbling to the need to eat a nice dessert in winter, crumbing in front of the fire place with a cheery red wine and any other forms of giving in to life’s small window of opportunity.

  6. platedujour says:

    Beautiful crumble Roger, I love mango and will give it a go for sure! So true about the rest 😊

  7. Vicki says:

    Never thought of a mango crumble. I imagine it to be quite sweet?

    We used to have lots of apple crumbles in our family growing up (because of our apple tree), but my Mother used zest of orange or lemon (can’t remember which) and it made a very tangy topping.

  8. A relaxation of personal expectations is definitely required… Well, it would be if i had some 😉

  9. “Narcissus should be the patron of New Year’s resolutions”. So true, I’ve just never heard it said with such flare. Kindness with a side of mango crumble. I can get behind that.

  10. Michelle says:

    Jenny beat me to it, but, yes: “One should do enough running when young to allow for time to crumble in peace in later years.”

    Crumbles are the best, though. When one absolutely has to have a dessert, yet hasn’t the patience for an all day thing.

  11. Quite, quite true about the crumbling resolutions. Good excuse: mango is a crumble I’ve never tried before!

  12. Oh, Roger, I’ve missed your insights and photos! I’m glad to be back, as your thoughts on “crumbling” and “resolutions” has challenged me to keep up with mine!

  13. Karen says:

    Mangos warmed in butter with a crispy crumble sounds oh so good.

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