I've been thinking about crumble for a while now. Bob's Red Mill has so many crumble-worthy ingredients like granolas, nuts and seeds, and all the rolled cereals, in addition to rolled oats. I wanted to try something a bit different than the traditional crumble and stumbled upon the brilliant idea of using Bob's Old Country Style Muesli. Not only does it contain the ol' crumble standby of oats, but it has the added bonus of seeds and dried fruits. How many crumble-topped desserts have you had that contain dates? Not many, right?
But let me back up for a second here. What exactly is a crumble? A crumble is a baked dessert, often fruit based that is topped with a crumbly mixture of butter, flour, sugar, and rolled oats. Oats and other grains, plus nuts and seeds, became standard crumble components during war rationing in the 20th century (according to our good friends at Wikipedia). They tasted so good and added so much wonderful texture and flavor to the dish, why not keep them?
“Crumble” is often used interchangeably with "crisp" and "cobbler." I take no issue with swapping a crisp for a crumble, but a cobbler is a thing of beauty all its own. So, allow me to get this out of the way: a cobbler is topped with a biscuit-like dough; crisps and crumbles are a combination of the ingredients listed above, baked to a crumbly crisp atop a sweet, yet sometimes savory, filling below. Though . . . I have worked in some pastry departments that serve the crumble topping on the side for an added element of crunch and flavor, to anchor a scoop of ice cream, or to just take up space on that big white plate. So don’t limit yourself to pies here, folks! Oh, and you don’t always need a bottom crust. You can just toss some fruit and spices together in a dish and then add the crumble topping if you’re pinched for time.
Now that I’d decided I wanted to make a sweet pie using our Old Country Style Muesli as the topping, I was stuck on the filling. Fruits are a traditional crumble filling, but none were screaming out at me that they are a perfect, ideal match for muesli. Banana was the first likely choice for me, because I always enjoy a sliced banana on my breakfast cereal. My concern was that naturally sugary bananas might be too much of a sweet thing with a brown sugar-oat-and-date crumble. I wanted tangy. And what is tangier than yogurt? Surely someone has made a yogurt pie. Someone like Julia Child, maybe?
With Julia Child's baked yogurt tart as a guide, I whipped together this sweet and tangy yogurt pie with a sweet and crispy muesli crumble topping. It was that easy. My first try was a success and a few hacks to Julia's filling recipe made this pie all the easier to assemble. Really, the hardest part of this recipe is rolling out the pie dough. With the steadfast breakfast elements of yogurt and muesli cereal, I'm going to go ahead and consider this pie: breakfast!