This fruity number is just the thing to pack into a tin and take round to a friends garden to have with a cuppa! Use any summer fruit you like, berries or stone fruit work well, and it’s best to cook the fruit down with a little maple syrup into a rough ‘jam’. Very soft fruit like strawberries, raspberries or plums could just be sliced and sprinkled raw on top of the biscuit layer before adding the crumble mix, but I do find a more jammy fruit layer helps the crumble mix stick to the biscuit a bit better. I tend to cover the dish in the oven with a baking sheet or a layer of baking parchment during the last 15 minutes or so to prevent it from browning too much.
125g caster sugar
375g plain flour
100g porridge oats
maple syrup to taste
Start by cooking 150g fruit in a small pan until just soft and starting to collapse. Taste and sweeten with maple syrup or any sweetener you like (if needed). Then put it to one side to cool while you make the biscuit dough.
Pre-heat the oven to 175C and line a deep baking dish with baking parchment. I used a dish approximately 25x35cm but any medium sized baking dish will do. Just bear in mind, if it’s a smaller dish, the biscuit will be deeper so will need longer in the oven.
Weigh out the butter, sugar and flour into a large mixing bowl. Rub it together with the tips of your fingers until you achieve a wet-beach-sand-like texture that comes together into dough when squeezed. A quicker way to do this is to pulse the ingredients together in a food processor with the ‘S’ blade attachment.
Tip roughly 2/3rds of the dough into the lined dish and press it firmly into a neat, even layer. Ensure you get into the corners of the dish.
Add the oats to the remaining 3rd of the dough and mix into a rough crumble.
Spoon the fruit onto the biscuit layer and then sprinkle the crumble over the top. Lightly pat the crumble into the fruit.
Then bake for approximately 30 minutes at 175C fan. The time can vary depending on your dish size. I tend to cover the dish with a baking sheet or extra piece of parchment for the last 15 minutes or so to prevent the crumble from browning too much. Just keep an eye on it and see if it needs it or not. No two ovens are alike in my experience!
Remove from the oven and allow the biscuit to cool in the dish. Then carefully transfer it to a chopping board and cut it as you like.
You should end up with a melt-in-the-mouth shortbread base, a fruity layer and a buttery, oaty, crumbly layer. Delicious!
The biscuits keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. Enjoy!
Traditionally made jam needs lots of sugar, boiling, simmering and pectin to help it set. My chia jam recipe is far easier. All you need is fruit, sweetener and chia seeds and you can whip up a quick jam in less than 10 minutes. Not only is it far simpler to make than regular jam, but it is actually remarkable healthy! Chia seeds are incredibly nutritious – think fibre, protein, minerals and omega 3s – and they naturally want to become a jelly-like substance. As they absorb liquid, they swell up and create a little jelly bubble around themselves. If you prefer a smoother jam then just blend it up in a smoothie maker or with an immersion blender before putting it in jars.
The only downside of making chia jam rather than traditional jam is that it doesn’t last as long. But you can freeze it in portions or just make smaller batches and use them up within a week. As it’s so simple and quick to make, it’s really no bother to make lots of little batches as you need them. This also provides opportunity for playing around with seasonal fruit and fun flavour combinations. Today I made raspberry, pear and ginger chia jam. My favourite is probably a classic cherry chia jam…especially on almond butter toast. What combos will you try? Let me know in the comments.
about 2 mugs of fruit of your choice (I went for 3 ripe pears and a mug of frozen raspberries)
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
4 tbsp chia seeds
maple syrup to taste (or sweetener of your choice)
optional added flavours (I went for some freshly grated ginger but leave plain or match your added flavour to your fruit eg apple and cinnamon, rhubarb and vanilla, plum and star anise, raspberry and rose petals…)
Prep your chosen fruit (rinse, peel and core or deseed/stone if needed) and put it in a pot. Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice and if you like, some natural flavourings like ginger, vanilla, rose, cinnamon…
Put the pot on the highest heat and bring the fruit to a rapid boil then turn down and simmer for 5 minutes or so until mushy. If your fruit is quite dry (eg apples) you may want to add a splash of water. Stir well with a wooden spoon as you go.
Mash the fruit to your desired consistency, take the pot off the heat.
Sweeten with maple syrup or another sweetener to your taste and add the chia seeds.
Stir well then allow the chia seeds to absorb the liquid.
Pour the hot mixture into a jar, put the lid on and once it’s cool keep it in the fridge and eat within a week.
It’s brilliant on toast or dolloped onto porridge or yogurt for breakfast. You can sandwich a sponge cake with it or make jam tarts. Enjoy!