This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
I was only writing about JK Rowling and food a few weeks ago. In past interviews, Jo Rowling has said how she loves it when food is mentioned in a novel – how she enjoys reading what the characters are having in their sandwiches. And in Harry Potter, she delighted with descriptions of treacle tart, Yorkshire pudding, beef casserole, crumpets, gravy, custard tarts, spotted dick, mashed potato, chocolate gateau, roast beef and jam doughnuts to name but a few. My mouth is watering as I write that list. All of it made by the elves in the Hogwarts kitchen, too.
So I am delighted to find in JK Rowling's grown-up novels, writing as Robert Galbraith, that she continues this tradition of mentioning food in detail.
Cormoran Strike is an ex-military policeman now private investigator. He is a brilliant but damaged man and the illegitimate son of a rock star. In The Cuckoo's Calling, Cormoran is called upon to investigate the death of a troubled model. In Silkworm, he is asked to investigate the disappearance of an author.
Often Cormoran is seen eating take away curry or feasting on pints of beer and tucking into steak and chips, cod and chips, or steak pie and chips in the pub. Which is kind of perfect for his character. But he also eats out in restaurants or at people's houses – often because he is trying to obtain information from somebody. And it is here that he eats puddings, too. Rhubarb flan, apple and strawberry crumble – and even shortbread for breakfast.The great thing about crumble is that you can just throw a few things together, pop it in the oven and there you go. So, if you don't have apples or strawberries, use another fruit. And if you don't have the exact quantities of fruit, then it doesn't really matter. Serve with custard or cream. Or ice-cream. Or all three.
An oven-proof bowl for cooking the crumble in, greased with butter. The size of your dish will affect how much fruit you need so use the recipe as a guide. Saucepan.
For the crumble topping
250g plain flour
160g caster sugar
For the fruit
400g apples (I used Braeburn)
- Pre-heat oven to 160 fan.
Peel, core and cube the apples. Soak in lemon or salted water to stop them going brown.
- In a bowl, cube the butter. Add the flour and, using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. (Alternatively, if you have one, throw everything except the oats into a food mixer. Stir the oats through seperately.)
- Stir in the sugar and the oats. Then put to one side.
- In a saucepan – heavy bottomed is good – melt the butter and sugar on a medium heat.
- Pour the water off the apples, give them a shake to rid excess water and add the apples to the butter/sugar mix.
- Mix so the apples are fully coated and cook for five minutes.
- Pour the apples into a oven proof dish and mix through the strawberries.
- Pour the crumble mix on top.
- Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve. Or allow to cool and re-heat when you want to use it.