A French friend of mine, who is an excellent cook, tells me that ‘Crumbles’ are all the rage in France. How refreshing that the French, widely revered for their prowess in the culinary arts, should take a leaf out of an English book. Crumbles seem to be enjoying a retro revival in Britain too. There are cookery books on sale in France just for Crumbles! The recipe below is my adaptation of one savoury recipe that I found in one of Anne’s books. The original recipe called for prawns, I chose to use scallops. This recipe makes a little bit of seafood go a long way.
Ingredients for two individual crumbles
- 2 large potatoes. These can be a floury variety or the red-skinned waxy ones
- 3 large scallops
- clove of garlic crushed and a knob or butter for frying
- capers if liked
- juice and rind of a lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- a crumble mix of 50g (2oz) of butter, 50g (2oz) of self-raising (plain will do) flour and a generous tablespoon of nut pieces which could be pre-roasted: flaked almonds, chopped pistachio nuts etc.
Peel the potatoes and steam them. Meanwhile rub the butter and flour together to make a breadcrumb-like crumble, add the nuts and season lightly. When the potatoes are cooked mash them well, adding something to moisten them: cream, low-fat yogurt, soya milk to your choice and lightly season the puree. Place this as a basal layer in individual pie dishes or a small shallow pyrex container. Toss the crushed garlic in butter in a frying pan and sizzle for a few seconds. Slice the scallops in half keeping the coral whole on one half, and chase them round the pan for a minute to flavour them. Remove from the pan, cut each scallop half in two and also the corals. Lay these on the potato puree, sprinkle the garlic and juice from the pan and a few capers over the scallops (see image below).
Add the lemon juice and rind, dot lightly with butter. Divide the crumble mix over the scallop layer. Place the dishes in a medium hot oven and cook for 25 minutes until the crumble is cooked and slightly browned on the surface (see image below).
- You could try this dish with prawns, mussels, clams or any other seafood of your choice
- Other garnishes could be added to the seafood layer: chopped olives, curry seasoning with chopped coriander, rings of tomato etc