Skip to navigation | Skip to content | Skip to footer

Back to recipes

Mulberry fumble

We do like a fumble. It's nothing more than a fruit fool topped with a separately made crumble an idea Hugh came up with a few years back. In this case, the fool part is mulberry mingled lightly with a sweet vanilla-laced custard. The crunchy, nubbly topping finishes it off perfectly. The beauty of this approach is that you can serve all the elements hot, all cold, or at room temperature (which is my preference), or a bit of both.

Preparation 15mins Cook time 25mins Servings 4


For the independent crumble:

  • 225g plain flour
  • A pinch of fine sea salt
  • 200g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 150g granulated, caster or demerara sugar
  • 100g medium oatmeal, ground almonds or porridge oats

For the mulberry:

  • 600g mulberry
  • Caster sugar, to taste
  • Water if needed

For the custard:

  • 125ml double cream
  • 125ml whole milk
  • 1-2 vanilla pods, slit open lengthways, seeds removed
  • 2 large free-range egg yolks
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour


To make the 'independent crumble', preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.

Put all the ingredients into a large bowl. Rub together with your fingertips until you have a crumbly dough, then squeeze in your hands to form small clumps.

Crumble these on to a large, lipped baking tray and spread out evenly. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and crisp, giving the whole thing a good stir halfway through.

You can let the crumble cool for just 10 minutes or so and use it still warm, or leave it to cool completely. You'll have more than you need for this recipe, but it stores well in an airtight container for a couple of weeks and can be used to top all sorts of fruity and/or creamy puds.

Place the mulberries into a pan and warm through gently. Stir in 1-2tbsp of sugar (or to taste) and allow to heat enough so that the mulberries collapse slightly.

If the mulberries are quite firm add a dash of water and another tbsp of sugar. Once collapsed lightly, taste and add a little more sugar if needed.

To make the custard, put the cream, milk and vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan and bring to just below the boil, then set aside to infuse for 10 minutes.

Remove the vanilla pod and beat the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a bowl until smooth then slowly pour on the hot cream, whisking all the time.

Pour back into the pan and heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon; don't let it boil.

Strain and either leave it to cool or serve it straight away. Serve the mulberries with the custard and a liberal scattering of crumble.