Two weeks ago, I made this lovely red currant crumble (crisp? sonker? slump? sneezy?) with the red currants given to me by my aunt and uncle from their amazing garden in Taos, New Mexico, which I struggle to refer to as a garden because it seems to be so much more than that as they have over 40 fruit trees as well as chickens and goats (from which my aunt makes her very own goat cheese). And despite the loveliness inherent in the fact that my aunt and uncle flew with these currants and goat cheese to Los Angeles and showed up at our doorstep on a afternoon before heading out to a wedding, and thereby, left me with all of the ingredients I needed to bake a crumble, what I really want to say to you is this: I didn't like Elysium.
(Note: I'm about to talk about not liking the movie Elysium. I don't believe I'm giving away any spoilers other than pointing out that it's not a good movie to watch.)
Matt and I saw it this afternoon, or rather, Matt saw it and I saw about thirty percent of it during the time I wasn't covering my eyes and ears. This was a rare occasion where we went into it without having watched the trailer and generally knowing very little about the movie apart from seeing these kind of cool advertisements reading, "Affordable Homes Starting at $250 Million on Elysium." For some strange reason we both had this vague idea that it would be a thoughtful, interesting, possibly even Kubrick-ian(!) dark comedy that takes place in the not too distant future and that might subtly and intelligently touch upon current, hot-button issues like the growing wealth gap, climate change, immigration reform, love, death, etc. Plus, it's got Damon, y'all!
But alas, it was nothing more than a super (duper) heavy-handed action movie. Very little of the movie is not an explosion-driven action sequence and there's no nuance to any of the interesting elements of the high concept.That being said—and switching gears back to food—the tartness of this currant crumble may also elicit strong opinions. Case in point: Matt found this dish to be way too tart for his taste. I, on the other hand, ate my portion with a bit of heavy cream poured on top and found it to be just right in its tartness. But hey, don't listen to me. You be the judge! (Except in the case of Elysium. Please just take my word for it? Thanks!)
for the filling:
1 lb. (or about 4 1/2 cups) of red currants (Nigel used black currants. I say: use whatever kind of currants you can get your hands on.)
4 tablespoons of superfine sugar
for the crumble:
7 tablespoons of butter
scant 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
2/3 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
2 to 3 tablespoons of water
Preheat the oven to 350F. Top and tail the currants. (I assumed this was British-speak for removing the stems from the currants?) Rinse them under cold water and tip, still wet, into an ovenproof baking dish. Scatter over the superfine sugar and toss gently. The sugar will stick to the berries like frost.
With your fingertips or using a food processor, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the almonds, light brown sugar, and rolled oats. Shake the water over the crumble mixture, then jiggle the bowl so that a few small, pebble-sized lumps are formed. This will give a delightful assortment of textures to the crumble. (I didn't get that much of a delightful assortment of textures to the crumble so wonder if I should have added another tablespoon of water?)
Tip the crumble over the sugared fruit. Don't pack it down. Bake for fifty minutes to an hour, until the fruit bubbles through the crust.