Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Fruit Crumble with Panela Sugar

How about trying this comforting fruit crumble recipe, perfect for the colder months.  It is made even more tasty with the use of panela, an unrefined sugar made from organic dried sugarcane juice, which has the lovely natural aroma of toffee.

Fruit crumble recipe made with panela sugar

Is it just me, but there certainly seems to be a correlation between the older we get and the speed at which time goes by.  Without divulging my age, let's just say that 2017 certainly feels to have passed in a blur of flour and clay.  (And if you're wondering about the reference to clay, those who follow me on Instagram may well know that I have a new found love of throwing clay on the potters wheel!  If you're at all creative I'd definitely recommend giving it a try!)

As we're already in 2018, may I wish you a happy New Year!

The first bake of the year that I'm sharing with you on Only Crumbs Remain is a simple fruit crumble recipe.  Not only are crumbles perfect for this time of year - being comforting, warming and filling, they're also quick and easy to make as well as being perfect for using up fruits which may have sat that little too long in the fruit bowl.

Pears, plums and bramley apple Prepared fruit for a fruit crumble

Our fruit crumble consisted of plums, pears and a granny smith - simply because that's what we had to hand, but there are so many other fruits which are perfect to be used in a fruit crumble: stone fruits like plums, peaches and apricots, soft fruits like blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and gooseberries and then there are apples and rhubarb which are a really popular choice.

comforting fruit crumble

I'll be the first to admit that a fruit crumble recipe isn't particularly cutting edge, but it is one of my favourite and must-have desserts during the older months.  It's such a  popular dessert, which the whole family is likely to enjoy. 

The difference with our fruit crumble though is the use of panela, an unrefined sugar made from organic dried sugarcane juice.  It really gave our crumble that something extra.  The natural aroma of toffee which accompanies panela was delicious in the actual crumble and alongside the cooked fruits.

About Panela Sugar.


Colombian Panela Sugar

Panela is dried sugarcane juice.  It is an unrefined sugar and has a wonderful aroma of toffee, and to Mr E it also has a few subtle coffee notes too.

It goes by other names throughout the world: piloncillo in Mexico, rapadura in Portuguese, and in Australia some refer to it as Uluru Dust!

The pack we bought, from our local supermarket, was produced in Colombia using the same sustainable methods which have been used for generations.  The harvested sugarcane is pressed and the resulting juice is filtered into a giant cauldron where it is heated until it produces a thick caramel like product.  It is poured into square moulds to set, and is then pulverised to produce a fine powder making it perfect for use in baking.


How to use Panela Sugar in Baking.


Panela can be used in so many ways from baked treats, like crumbles, cakes and cookies to sprinkling it on porridge.  Basically it can be used in just the same way that we use caster sugars and other refined sugars that we're familiar with.  Simply use panela 'weight for weight' in place of refined sugar.  Do consider the natural aroma and flavour of the panela when deciding on how to use it!  Although it was great in our fruit crumble it wasn't quite right in our custard!  

The Benefits of using Panela.

The process of making panela means that the final product retains the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are present in raw sugarcane.  The pack of Colombian Panela we picked up from our local supermarket listed vitamin D and magnesium in the nutritional information table (61%  RI and 18% RI respectively in 100g of panela).  Of course though, despite there being some nutritional value in the panela, it is still inherently sugar and therefore the body still has to deal with the sugar in the same way had it been a refined product.

The pack of Colombian Panela we purchased was sustainably produced by small family run farmsteads which use the sugar cane husks as fuel when it is heated.

So, here's how to make a fruit crumble with panela sugar.

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Fruit Crumble using Panela Sugar
How about trying this comforting fruit crumble recipe, perfect for the colder months.  It is made even more tasty with the use of panela, an unrefined sugar made from dried sugarcane juice, which has the lovely aroma of toffee.

Hands on time: Bake time:     Yield: 1 large fruit crumble serving 6 people

Specific Equipment
    Family Sized Baking Dish - ours measured 27cm x 20cm x 7cm
For the Crumble
  • 260g S R Flour
  • 130g Butter, unsalted & chilled
  • 120g Panela Sugar
  • 60g Porridge Oats
For the Fruit Layer
  • 8 Plums
  • 3 Pears
  • 1 Granny Smith, medium
  • 1 Tbsp Panela Sugar

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180℃ / 160℃ fan / Gas 4.  You may want to place a sided baking tray (large enough to hold your baking dish) in the centre of the oven to be heating through which will catch any fruit juices which may bubble over.2. Make the crumble. Place the flour and chilled butter into a good sized bowl. Use a knife to cube the butter. Rub the butter into the flour between your thumb and finger tips, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and porridge oats to the crumble mixture and stir together until well incorporated. Set aside.3. Prepare the fruit. Use a paring knife to cut a line around the plums. Twist the top and bottom half of the plum in opposite directions so that the halves separate. Use the knife to carefully remove the plum stone. Cut each plum half into about 6 pieces. Half and core the pears. Remove the stalk and cut the pears into similar sized pieces to the plum. Peel the apple. Cut into quarters, core and chop into pieces. 4. Assemble. Place the fruit into the baking dish. Toss together to distribute the fruit evenly. Scatter over a tablespoon of panela. Spoon the prepared crumble over the top.5. Bake. Place the dish into the heated baking tray (if using) and return to the centre of the oven. Bake for about 50 minutes. You may need to rotate the crumble after 30 minutes of baking. Use a paring knife, or similar, to prod through the crumble to check that the fruit is cooked sufficiently before serving. (see note b below).6. Enjoy with custard, cream or ice cream (see note d below). 
Notes: a) Consider placing any larger pieces of crumble onto the fruit first before spooning over the finer crumble. b) The length of bake the fruit needs will depend upon how ripe the fruit is to begin with, and also your own personal preference. Begin checking the crumble after 40 minutes of baking. c) Use which ever fruits are available - such as apple, rhubarb, gooseberries, berries, or stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries, plums.  d) If serving with custard, you may prefer to make it with your usual sugar - we didn't enjoy the custard too much made with panela.

Pin Fruit Crumble with Panella Sugar for later!

Fruit crumble recipe, consisting of pears plums and apples, made with panela sugar produced in Colombia from organic dried sugarcane juice

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This post has been shared with: 

 Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Corina at Searching for Spice

Bake of the Week hosted this week by Helen at Casa Costello and Jenny at Mummy Mishaps 

Hijacked By Twins Link up your recipe of the week Only Crumbs Remain


  1. Crumbles are my favourite pudding! I try all these fancy things, but really, nothing beats a fruit crumble and custard in my eyes! #CookBlogShare

  2. I am so looking for this panela sugar tomorrow! Sugar that's full of goodness is right up my street! Thank you for bringing your lovely crumble to #CookBlogShare:)

    1. I'm sure you'll love the panela Monika - the aroma and flavour of it is AMAZING! I'd love to know what you think to it once sourced some. Thanks for hosting such a great linky :-)
      Angela x

  3. This sounds gorgeous Angela! I have quite a few apples and plums in the fruit bowl that are going a little bit past their best at the moment so it would be just the thing to make. The panela sugar sounds perfect in this - I'm sure my husband would love it as he loves anything with toffee flavours. Thanks so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice! x

    1. The panela would be fab with an apple crumble Corina - toffee aromas in the sugar and apple! Yum! Thankyou for hosting such a great linky Corina,
      Angela x

  4. I've not heard of panela sugar before and it sounds intriguing! My husband would love it if it brings a slight toffee taste x

    1. I've only been aware of it for a few short weeks and am so looking forward to trying it in a few other recipes. It's so lovely Cat and definitely worth trying.
      Angela x

  5. So interesting to read about panela sugar - I've never heard of it before but I'll be looking out for it now. We all love crumble so I'll have to give this one a try!

    1. It's quite new to me too Mandy - I only read about it a few weeks ago and then happened to see a bag of it in our local supermarket! It was as though I was meant to try it - so I threw the bag in the basket! ;-) It really has a lovely flavour and I just love the fact that it's made with traditional methods without faffing around with it too much. I'd definitely recommend giving it a try (though I would refrain from adding it to any custard you might make ;-) )
      Angela x

  6. I make fruit crumbles often with leftover fruits! I haven't heard of panela sugar before, But I would love to try it! The fact that it lends some toffee flavors to the crumble is gonna make it even more delish! I have a couple of apples lying around which would totally go well with Panela! Thanks!

    1. Crumbles are just great for that aren't they :-) I suspect you'll have panela but with a different name where you are Deepika. Ooh I love the sound of an apple crumble made with this lovely sugar - mmm yum!
      Angela x

  7. Fruit Crumble is one of my absolute faves too.Panela Sugar sounds delish too.I will look out for it.Any excuse to make a crumble!xx

  8. From the comments it looks like there are a lot of crumble lovers about (me included)! I'm going to keep an eye out for Panela, it sounds a tasty way of getting your vitamin D while we'recommend getting less from sunshine 😊

    1. It definitely does sound to be a popular dessert doesn't it Louise. It's great that there is a little nutrition in the panela because it's not been over worked isn't it :-)
      Angela x

  9. Mmmm we all love a good crumble and with lots of custard on too! x #CookOnceEatTwice


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