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Lost Fruits Crumble

19 January 2021 | By Frida Buitron
Food fightRecipes

That’s how it goes! The snow is still falling, and the streets are getting whiter day by day. And I found something I thought lost, some delicious raspberries and strawberries, though they really don’t look as handsome as before.

Today, I will prepare a delicious crumble with raspberries and strawberries, but I could actually use any fruit we can imagine on a pie, such as apples or pears. I will use red fruits, first because it’s what I found on my fridge, also because they lose freshness faster, and finally because I find them not only pretty and tasty, but also interesting…

The delusional scent of raspberry is due to a chemical compound that carries its name, the “raspberry ketone1. This ketone is so seductively smelly that the bulbophyllum apertum (Fig. 1), an orchid flower from Southeast Asia, produces it to attract flies. The insects approach the flower, looking for the sweet nectar, and in exchange pollinate her2,3.

Croustade_fruits perdus_AVF_5

Strawberry smell, on the other hand, is caused primarily by two chemical compounds: furaneol and methoxifuraneol. As the fruits ripe, the concentrations of the two compounds increase, providing strawberries with more intense flavor. Furaneol is largely used in the cosmetic industry, like for soap or shampoo. While used in small concentrations will provide with a fantastic strawberry smell, too much will result on a burnt caramel smell4.

And now, let’s cook!


Serves four portions. Cooking time: 25 min active; 30 min passive (baking)

Crumble mix

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup oatmeal/granola
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (facultative)
1/2 cup vegetable oil or butter

Fruit mix

5 cups raspberries and/or strawberries (or any other fruit you prefer) cut into small pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (facultative)


Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Chose a deep ceramic or glass oven pie-like dish and lightly grease its surface with vegetable oil or butter.

In a large mixing bowl, add the crumble ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add the vegetable oil (I used canola) and massage the mix into a clustered dough (it won’t be homogeneous, and that’s okay).


* Cinnamon is depicted in stick just for aesthetic purposes, but you can grate it to make powder.

In another large bowl, mix the flour, sugar and cinnamon, then add the fruits. Toss these ingredients together to obtain a smooth, juicy mixture.


Pour one third of the fruit mixture evenly on the pie dish, then cover with a thin layer of crumble mix. Repeat this step until finishing the fruit mix, add the rest of the crumble mix in the top. To achieve a delicious crumbled texture, the top crumble layer should be thicker than the bottom ones.

Decorate the top with some fruit mix leftovers or fresh fruits.


Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it slightly cool down for five minutes (it will be hot, very hot).


Since my pie dishes aren’t big enough, after preparing the crumble I found myself with a considerable amount of mixture left. So, I decided to prepare some cookies with it! I combined the fruit and the crumble mixtures, then added one extra cup of oatmeal per one cup of mix, and massage them together into a dough. Then poured it into a muffin thin and baked for 20 min.

Ready! I feel like now I’m finally prepared to spend the winter at home. A sweet, red winter.


  1. 1. Raspberries, Weight Loss, & The Galaxy – The Chemistry of Raspberries. Andy Brunning
  2. 2. Raspberry Ketone. Bristol University Molecule of the Month
  3. 3. R. Synomone Or Kairomone? –Bulbophyllum Apertum Flower Releases Raspberry Ketone To Attract Bactrocera Fruit Flies. Keng-Hong, T., Nishida, J Chem Ecol 31, 497–507
  4. 4. The Sweet Chemistry of Five Summer


Frida Buitron

Frida is a bubbly and curious chemist who is passionate about science and culture. A lover of food and nature, she’s always concocting treats with whatever she finds in the back of the fridge. In her free time, she enjoys good books and music as well as spending time with friends.

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