Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pineapple and Almond Crumble Served With Ginger Cream

In the first version of this dish there was no crumble – just glazed pineapple with ginger cream. But by the time I’d griddled the fruit in all that butter and sugar and then covered it in a huge dollop of cream, I figured that this had ceased to be a light healthy dessert and I may as well go the whole hog and turn it into a decadent crumble. I’ll start that diet tomorrow…

I have made my feelings on baking clear in previous blogs: I don’t much like it, and it doesn’t much like me. There’s something about the precision that it demands with which I am yet to come to terms. But a crumble is different. It can’t sink, it can’t turn to concrete when it cools, it’s easy to tell if either the crumble or fruit aren’t cooked enough …in other words, it’s pretty hard to screw up.

To me, there is something wonderfully comforting and nostalgic about a crumble as it is the taste of my childhood.  The contrast of hot and cold with the whipped cream is heavenly. Crumbles, at least in the UK are usually made with apple or rhubarb. The substitution with tropical pineapple and the ginger kick lift the dish and make it bright and cheerful and a great ending to an Asian Fusion meal.

I have a confession to make about the pineapple I used. Here in Bangkok we are fortunate to have mobile fruit stands on every street corner. You can pick up ready peeled, beautifully cut, chilled fruit for just a few baht:

So I did. But I have adjusted the timing in recognition of the fact that some of you will have to wrestle with all the prickles.  

Time: 1hr 20 mins (35-40 mins cooking time)
Rating: Easy as pie (or crumble)
Serves: 5-6


For the ginger cream:
Juice from 2 inches finely grated fresh ginger (1-2 tbsp)
250ml whipping cream
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:
700g fresh pineapple (weight when peeled – about 1 medium pineapple)
2 tbsp orange juice (fresh if possible)
2 tsp ground ginger
50g brown sugar

For the topping:
100g whole almonds (skin still on)
75g butter
200g plain flour
100g brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Start by making the cream so it has plenty of time to refrigerate. Grate the ginger and squeeze the juice from the grated ginger into a large bowl. Discard the pulp. Add the whipping cream, and other cream ingredients. Whip with an electric or hand whisk until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
  3. Peel and quarter your pineapple. Remove any ‘eyes’ and also the tough core. Chop into chunks about an inch in size and set aside.
  4. Spread the almonds onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 3-4 minutes, taking out to shake about half way through. They should be very slightly toasted – not too much because they’ll continue to toast when you cook the crumble later. Allow to cool and chop the almonds fairly finely either by hand with a good knife or in a food processor. Don’t worry if you have a few bigger pieces left in there, it gives a rustic crunch.
  5. Combine the butter and flour with your hands until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  6. Add the brown sugar and the toasted almonds and combine, again using your fingers.
  7. Place the pineapple chunks into a medium sized baking dish (about 25cm) and pour over the orange juice, ginger and sugar. Combine to make sure the pineapple is evenly coated.
  8. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit evenly.
  9. Put in the oven and bake for 35-40 mins until it is nicely golden on top and the juice below has thickened and is bubbling. Take out of the oven and allow to rest for about 10-15 minutes. Letting it cool gives the sugar time to harden a little and ever so slightly caremalise the crumble and the nuts.
  10. Serve warm with plenty of the ginger cream.

Cooking ahead? The crumble can be made several hours in advanced and stored in the fridge, as can the ginger cream.


  1. I would gladly devour this entire crumble - looks sensational - and tropical (pineapples :D)

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Strawberry Hot Fudge Choc Cobbler

  2. Oh my gosh, does this recipe look like a winner to impress family and "company" alike! I can't wait to try this. Thank you for sharing!