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Croatian blackberry crumble

Recipe from Nino Zoccali's cookbook, The Venetian Republic

PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOKING TIME 50 minutes

In many parts of the world, fruit crumble desserts like this one are reserved for the cold of winter. Not in this case, as blackberries are at their very best in summer, and this Croatian staple – another example of Slavic influence on the Dalmatian coast – is beautifully light and fantastic for summer.

150 g (1 cup) plain flour
⅓ teaspoon baking powder
170 g (6 oz) cold butter, diced
110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
2 egg yolks

Blackberry Filling
2 egg whites
110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) blackberries
Seeds from ½ vanilla pod
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon icing (confectioners’) sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

To make the pastry, mix the flour, baking powder, butter, sugar and egg yolks in a food processor until a dough ball forms. Remove from the food processor and set aside one-third of the dough to make the topping.

Grease a 20 cm (8 inch) pie dish and with your hands, firmly press the pastry into the bottom and sides of the dish to form a crust.

For the blackberry filling, whisk the egg whites and sugar into soft peaks. Fold in the berries, vanilla seeds and lemon zest, and pour into the pie dish.

Crumble the reserved pastry dough over the top of the blackberry filling.

Bake the crumble in the oven for about 50 minutes, or until golden.

Allow to cool a little, then dust with icing sugar. This is beautiful with vanilla bean gelato or cream.

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