The backstory

It was a cold night, and I needed some dessert and it had to be like a warm hug. It was a pudding kind of night and I had plums..... I knew what this meant. Crumble. As part of our collaboration with Melbourne Bushfood, I wanted to make my topping to have a nutty earthy flavour and I adapted my go to crumble topping and with the addition of wattleseed, lemon myrtle and macadamias and it was so worth it. The plums I prepared by roasting them with pepperberries, brown sugar and a dash of balsamic to soften them and give them some extra sweetness. 

About the ingredients 

Lemon myrtle: probably one of the most versatile and easy-to-use native herb commercially available at the moment, as its essentially "lemon in a leaf". Its slightly more herby than using traditional lemon, but has been found to have more citral (what gives the lemon flavour) than any other plant in the world, so its unmistakably lemon. This is also a great antimicrobial and antifungal, and can help against the spoilage of food, as well as being a strong antioxidant substance. The leaves can be dried and used whole, or ground, or can be used fresh to infuse in to liquids during cooking. An absolute must-have for the backyard herb garden. 

Wattleseed: The use of Wattle seeds (of the commercially traded species) has a traditional use of at least 4000 years as an Aboriginal staple food ingredient. The seed is harvested, then roasted and can be ground or sold whole. The flowers (without stalks) can also be used, typically in pancakes, scones and scrambled eggs or omelettes. It has a dominant nutty, coffee and roasted aromas with a slight bitterness. Several species are native to arid and temperate areas of Australia with some, like the Elegant Wattle (Acacia victoriae) having a very widespread natural distribution.

Pepperberry: Comes from the Tasmania lanceolata plant which grows well in southern parts of Australia where the climate is cooler, and the berries and leaves can be used. It has quite a complex flavour structure, with a number of different layers and dimensions that go well with either sweet or savory. It can be used with curries, cheese, meats, ice-cream or even Christmas cake. Nutritionally, the pepper berry is a wonderful anti-oxidant, is high in Vitamin E and folate, and has antibacterial / antifungal properties. This bush is easy to grow at home and would be a useful addition to your collection of herbs and spices growing in your backyard. 

Reference (https://anfab.org.au/, agrifigures.com.au)

Ingredients

  • 1kg plums
  • 3 tblsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pepperberries
  • dash of balsamic vinegar

Crumble topping:

  • 6 tblsp plain flour
  • 6 tblsp butter, cubed
  • 5 tblsp brown sugar
  • 4 tblsp shredded coconut
  • 4 tblsp oats
  • 50g macadamias, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp wattleseed
  • 1 tsp lemon myrtle

Steps and Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Halve plums, remove stones and place in an oven proof dish skin side down. Roast the plums in the dish that you want to bake the crumble in so you don't have to move them and losose the yummy juices from the roasting.
  2. Sprinkle with pepperberries, brown sugar and a dash of balsamic. Roast for 20-25 mins until skins soften and they are starting to get a but syrupy.
  3. While the plums are roasting, place flour and butter in a medium bowl and rub butter into flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs but don't worry if there are a few larger lumps.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients to the flour mixture and work through so it is all combined.
  5. When plums are roasted, remove from oven and reduce the oven temperature to 180C.
  6. Sprinkle crumble mixture over the plums and put back in the oven for 20-25 mins until golden brown.
  7. Serve with cream or icecream. Enjoy.