Except for a scoop of ice cream from the fridge, I don’t think there is a quicker, easier and more delicious dessert than a crumble.

red berry crumble

I grew up with crumble in my mother’s house. Usually an apple crumble, made in her usual pyrex glass baking dish and she served it with fresh cream scooped from the full cream milk my father brought home from the farm every other day.

Crumbles have changed a little face today, being now made with all kinds of fruit, topped with all kinds of different toppings, either sweet or salty, served from a big dish or  as individually petite servings. It is popular with old and young and equally at home at the family table or finishing off an elegant meal.

…frozen berries whole year long…

fruit rouges picard frozen fruit roughes

I especially favour red berris for a crumble. I love the colour and I love the sweet/tartiness of the berries and now that we can have berries available the whole year in frozen form, I could’nt be happier. I don’t feel guilty for eating berries frozen out of season, for the simple reason that they are so healthy and low in sugars, and they add some welcome colour towards the end of winter when the root vegetables and bleak winter foods start getting a bit difficult to swallow down.

…slowly and deliberately…

red berry crumble 2

red berry crumble with rose water


  • With a bag or two of frozen red berries in the freezer you have dessert at the tip of your spoon whole year. *Add beaten egg whites and some whipped cream and refrigerate for a feather light mousse. *Defrost in the firdge and add to a salad. *Mix to a puree and add to a vinaigrette. *Make a coulis for ice cream or a chutney for foie gras or roasted duck. *Bake a muffin on a sunday morning. *Simply saute with a bit of honey in a pan and spoon over french toast. *Make a sorbet to lift a heavy winter casserole. *Spoon over joghurt for an evening snack. *Simply defrost to room temperature and nibble on a handful. Any more ideas?

…old wishes…

une tasse ancienne

When I was born all those years ago, a neighbour further down our street came over to see the newborn baby, me.  She congratulated my parents and gave my mother this little cup and saucer with the wish that when I turn 21 one day, I should drink from this cup, and with it all the good wishes and happiness she wishes for me in life. So. I turned 21 and I did drink tea from this cup and I am a happy person!  I own this little cup today and it got damaged with all our moving around, but I carefully glued it all together and low and behold, it still holds a cup of tea without leaking…. and even in that I find solace. Our lives aren’t perfect either, but we can be happy and content, by opening up to it. Not that I dedicate my happiness to the drinking from the cup, but symbolically it means to me that every good wish we receive will eventually help fill our cup. Given of course that the wishes are really meant and not only empty words!

I love this little cup and saucer and have started carrying on the tradition.  This specific cup and saucer is promised to a little six year old girl named Karla, who will one day have her tea poured into this imperfect, but beautiful and unleaking cup. I have in the meantime started collecting my own special little anitique cups and saucers to pass onto my grandchildren one day and other new born babies who come into my life. My wish will also be that their cup be filled with happiness.

…ongoing tradition…

les tasses anciennes

LASTLY:  An update on the spices of Zlamushka:

Similar posts you might  be interested in :

painperdu papillote with saffron pineapples Strawberry meringues

22 thoughts on “Red berry crumble and old wishes(Crumble fruits rouges à l’eau de rose et voeux anciens

  1. So refreshing, the picture, the crumble recipe, the story of the tea cup. It is a good start for my day, the only regret, we do not have Picard store in Montreal!


  2. Ronelle I am thinking about what I will write as I am enjoying every word of your post..every photo and your art and I arrive at the bottom and see what happened.Imagine my surprise !~

    I was set in my mind and now I may have lost some.
    I wanted to tell you I love crumbles..it’s what my mom made first and best..I love access to the frozen ones too:)
    The gift of a teacup at one’s birth with the wishes is so symbolic I wish I had thought of that 🙂 Now I know.
    I treasure my mom’s teacups and have collected a few also.
    Yours is precious.
    I also agree with you that words must be true.
    It is easy to say things just to say them.I find my mind is complimentary though and I often do think nice things so sometimes it may seem surprising…if I tell a stranger they have great hair:) Or great gardens etc…I just think life is too short to not take the opportunity of saying a gracious thing if you mean it..
    Au contraire,, falsehoods.. give me goosebumps.Des frissons~

    I love your blog.
    The truth.
    Thank you.


  3. There is a song that goes like this….”there is beauty all around, when there’s love at home”……and that is the key, you clearly have found that key and therefor you can find beauty and solace in the little things. A beautiful post, Ronelle!!

    I prefer a berry crumble, simply because I find apple to sweet, I love the balance between the sweet crunchy crumble and the tartness of the berries.


  4. Yes! and Yes! I also enjoy making crumbles…have you done it with peaches or nectarines with blueberries? And the cup story is very touching. Now, I am going to find tea cups for our two grandaughters. You make me hungry!


  5. Your teacup story is divine. Thank you for sharing it. I like the idea of a berry crumble with rosewater. I will try that.


  6. The cups are so beautiful. A great tradition. Love the berries too – I also use frozen berries on occasion. Fresh are of varying quality and very expensive.


  7. Hello! I love crumble. I’ve been making on recently that has a layer of cake in between the fruit and the crumble topping. A very comforting dessert on a cold night. Your cups are gorgeous.


  8. I love the tea cup story …I guess where I live, in Australia, I’d have to save an empty beer can for my son…do they last 21 years??


  9. Hi Ronelle

    A beautiful sunny quiet Sunday morning in Stellenbosch. Love the tea cup story. I also love pretty cups.

    I have just decided this morning to shed off 2 or 3kg. You know Stellenbosch very well. We have this berry farm nowadays on the Helshoogte road, Hillcrest Berry farm, so we do have fresh and frozen berries all year round.

    At the moment it is strawberry time. I have already made my jam and put some strawberries in the deepfreeze.

    Cecily en ek was Vrydag middag tot gister in Oudtshoorn vir Franci se gimnastiek. Ek is nuuskierig om te sien wat sy op haar blogg gaan sit nadat sy na al die mooi geboue in Ouds. gekyk het.


    Geniet jou blogg vreeslik

    Tannie Martie


  10. I agree with you on crumble being an easy and yet “sure winner” dessert 🙂 although I barely have the opportunity to make this dessert your red fruit version is really tempting. I will try buying some frozen red fruits to try your recipe 🙂

    ps i wish i could do the same cup tradition on to my daughter that she’ll hand on by…love this post!!


  11. I was recently given a basket with a tea cup and saucer that is lovely. I have not unpacked it, because the basket also contained some lovely linens and a candle. It’s too pretty to unpack.

    I agree about the dessert.


  12. A beautiful post about a beautiful tradition and some good life lessons!! I love crmbles and crisps too, and aren’t frozen berries just the best? I froze some of the wild blackberries that I picked this summer and will haul them out when the winter months get too cold and depressing…


  13. thank you! Sean..in SA there are walls in homes that are covered with coke cans, so I think a beer can would keep forever..he he!
    Hilda – get yourself to the first brocante and start collecting!
    Tannie MArtie – laat weet my hoe die kilos geval het, ek kan ook doen met minus ‘n paar!!


  14. Hi Ronelle, thanks for stopping by my blog earlier and nice to meet you. Oooo.. I am totally thrilled with your red berry crumble! Already salivating… haha… You’re an awesome artist! Cheers.


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