This past Sunday, I bought the first organic, locally-grown strawberries. Teeny tiny strawberries that reminded me of the mara des bois we had in France.
“They are grown for flavor, not looks”, the grower said to me justifying their small stature and amorphous shape. I didn’t need any explanations, really. I could smell them from a mile away.
Then I walked a couple of stalls down to find bins of elderflower. I almost fainted. That smell! Reminded me of the elder trees that line the river-edge in my hometown.
I delicately packed the elderflower in a bag and carried on knowing that when I arrived home, I would be making something with the strawberries and topping them with the elder petals. Ended up eating one pint in one sitting – on the side of the street.
With the other pints, I made crumble. The simplest fruit dessert you can probably make and always so appreciated by all. It is forgiving as you can basically add any crunchy ingredient you wish.
Then top it with elder petals if you have them. Or even rose. Or chamomile… Or simply plain.
Strawberry crumble with oats, hazelnuts and elderflower
1 cup (140 g) superfine brown rice flour
1 cup (100 g) hazelnut flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (75 g) cornstarch
1/4 cup (30 g) gluten-free rolled oats
1/4 cup (50 g) natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
8 tablespoons (110 g) unsalted butter, soft and cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
1 to 3 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 pounds (675 g) strawberries, stems removed and halved if they are large
Juice 1 lemon
A bit of elderflower petals (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F (190C).
In a large bowl, mix together superfine brown rice flour, hazelnut flour, 1/2 cup (60 g) cornstarch, rolled oats, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt. Add the butter and mix it into the flour using your fingers. The butter should coat all the flour and feel moist and sand-like.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water. Add to dough and mix. Add more water if needed. We want the dough to be crumbly but moist. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
In a bowl, mix together the strawberries, 2 tablespoon sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch and lemon juice. Toss together and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. Transfer the strawberries into a baking dish that is approximately 9-inches by 13-inches. Top with crumble and bake until the strawberries are bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes.
Serve warm topped with some elderflower petals.