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Meliz Berg’s Spiced Fruit Baklava Crumble

by Meliz Berg from Dinner Tonight

This inspired dessert from Meliz Berg combines the flavours, aromas and textures of baklava (nuts, honey, orange blossom syrup) and transforms them into a heavenly crumble using the fruit of your choice.

From the book


This has become my ‘I’ll bring dessert’ dessert. I love how the tartness of baked fruits can cut through the sweetness of a sponge, tart or crumble. However, I always feel a little hard done by with regular crumbles, as the fruit stews at the bottom rather than caramelising resplendently, like the topping, say, of a tarte tatin. So, I’ve flipped this crumble over and infused it with the mesmerising flavours, scents and textures of a nutty baklava. Although I’ve written the recipe for peaches and plums, you really can use any fruit you’d typically use in a crumble or tart, hence the more generic title; peaches, nectarines, plums, apples, pears, rhubarb and berries all work brilliantly. And yes, you’ve guessed it, I’ve given you tips to make it gluten-free and plant-based too.

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For the pistachio crumble:
200g (7oz) plain flour (or 200g/7oz glutenfree plain flour + ¼ tsp xanthan gum if making gluten-free version)
½ tsp baking powder (gluten-free)
50g (1¾oz) rolled jumbo oats (or 50g/1¾oz) gluten-free rolled jumbo oats)
60g (2oz) pistachios
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
150g (5½oz) cold unsalted butter (or plant-based equivalent), cut into 2cm (¾in) cubes
50g (1¾oz) soft dark brown sugar
For the orange blossom syrup:
300ml (10fl oz) cold water
100g (3½oz) caster sugar
2 tbsp runny honey (or agave syrup)
1 tsp orange blossom water
juice of ½ large orange
½ cinnamon stick
3 cloves
For the topping:
400g (14oz) ripe peaches/ plums, or a combination of both, stoned and cut into 1cm (½in) thick slices
½ tsp ground cinnamon
zest of 1 large orange, finely grated
juice of ½ large orange
1 tsp demerara sugar
25g (1oz) pistachios, ground in the food processor + extra to finish

Essential kit

You will need: a 23cm (9in) diameter round pie dish.


Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 40–45 minutes (+ 30 minutes cooling time).

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6.

Line a 23cm (9in) diameter round pie dish with parchment paper.

Add all of the pistachio crumble ingredients to a food processor and pulse slowly until the butter starts to form large crumbs, but hasn’t been ground down to a powder. Pour the crumble mixture into the lined pie dish and press it down using your hands so that the top is completely flat. Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 15 minutes.

While the crumble base is baking, add all of the orange blossom syrup ingredients to a small saucepan and place on the hob over a medium-high heat. Once it starts to boil, leave it on a high simmer for around 10–15 minutes until the mixture has thickened and reduced by half, then turn off the heat.

While the crumble is baking in the oven and the syrup is reducing on the hob, mix together the fruit slices, ground cinnamon, orange zest and orange juice in a bowl.

After the crumble has been baking for 15 minutes, take it out of the oven, and scrape the flattened top a little with a fork so that the topping starts to resemble a crumble. Pop the crumble back in the oven on the middle rack for another 5 minutes until the top starts to look a little crunchier. Carefully take the dish out again, arrange the fruit slices on top of the crumble, and scrape out any of the juicy residue left in the bowl and onto the fruit. Using a spoon, evenly pour the syrup over the fruit and crumble. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar and pop the dish back onto the middle rack of the oven. Bake for another 20–25 minutes, or until the fruit has softened, but is still tender, and the tops have ever so slightly caramelised.

Take the dish out of the oven, sprinkle over the ground pistachios so that they stick to the hot syrupy fruit, and let the crumble cool for at least 30 minutes before you try to remove it from the dish. Once cooled but still a little warm, gently lift the crumble out of the pie dish using the paper, and onto a large flat plate, carefully easing the paper out from underneath as you do so. Serve with cream or custard and an extra sprinkling of ground pistachios.

NOTES This crumble can be made the day before, covered with foil and stored at room temperature. Reheat in the oven on the middle rack at 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4 for 8–10 minutes, or until heated through, before serving, if required. Alternatively, once cooked, you can also freeze the crumble (whole or portioned and stored in an airtight container) for up to 3 months. Either defrost in the fridge overnight and then reheat at 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6 for 20–25 minutes, or until piping hot, or reheat from frozen for 30–35 minutes, again, until fully heated through. It will need less time (10–15 minutes) if you’re only reheating individual portions and not the whole crumble).


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