It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Scratch meals, so I was giddy to see the latest development – a move into desserts. I’m particularly pleased to see the range expand as at one point I was concerned that they weren’t going to catch on. A few times I’d head into Sainsbury’s and they’d be sat there with a yellow sticker on in the reduced section waiting for a good home. “Don’t let this happen!” I’d think to myself as people walked past putting grotty looking ready meals into their trolleys, “Put back that pasty, grey, slimy, carbonara with mushy mushrooms and grim processed ham” I thought “Just take a chance – spend eight minutes of your evening with Michel Roux Sr and you won’t look back”. Well it looks like my private thoughts have seeped into the consciousness of the great British public as Scratch Meals now have 10 savoury dishes and four desserts. However I don’t think Sainsbury’s are stockists anymore and the desserts can only be found on Ocado and in a select number of Tescos. I got mine as part of my new found love affair with Ocado.
In case you don’t know, the idea behind scratch meals is that they provide you with all the things you need to cook your own dinner in a handy box. There’s no measuring required all you need is a pan, some heat, a scratch kit and about eight minutes spare time and you’ll have dinner on the table. For some reason this simple logic was skewed for me when it came to desserts and I was imagining a ready made apple crumble in a pot rather than having to do any work. I was wrong and thankfully so. The apple crumble wasn’t your bog standard, overly sweet clag on top of baby food like apple, it was a kind of deconstructed crumble with extra levels of flavour thrown in.
To start off you melt some butter, then add the apple slices, after a minute in goes some cinnamon sugar which starts to caramelise and coat the apple, next in goes a dash of brandy and after a couple of mins you dish it up, top with the almond and shortcake crumble and add a dollop of vanilla marscapone.
The caramel was supposed to be spooned over the apple, but when it got to my plate it had firmed up somewhat and stopped being a sauce, it was more something to chew on, however it tasted so good I didn’t care. In fact the whole dessert was a delight. The apple maintained it’s crunch and had a slight tartness which worked wonderfully with the caramel and brandy, the almond and shortcake crumble wasn’t too sweet and was a crunchy, crumbly delight, it was all brought together by the rich vanilla marscapone. As with Scratch meals generally the only issue was portion size – I could have eaten this stuff all day. It was a brilliant take on a crumble and right up there with the best celeb endorsed food stuffs. I hope Tesco expands the range, Sainsbury’s get back on board and Waitrose put them in every store.
Michel Roux Sr Scratch Meals – Cinnamon Apple & Almond Crumble £3.99