by Thane Prince

By cooking the topping and filling separately you can dramatically reduce the amount of fat in a fruit crumble without compromising on flavour and texture. This topping is essentially a healthy granola, which can be made in advance and simply reheated in a low oven before serving.

Desserts

Buyer's guide

The British plum season starts in late July with the Opal variety and finishes in mid-to late-September with the Marjorie Seedling. Each variety has a 2-3 week season.

Preparation

British plums develop an intense flavour when cooked. They make excellent jam, jelly and fruit cheese, but can also be bottled. Strong spices such as star anise, cloves, vanilla, cinnamon and black pepper all taste good with poached plums. Cream and custard based accompaniments such as ice cream or rice pudding balance their flavour. Out-of-season imported plums can be cooked, but are much sweeter and taste best eaten raw.