These nutty, crumbly, salty, sweet, and buttery little nuggets are on my list of top-ten pastry must-have-on-hand items. As simple as this recipe is, the ingredients together create really scrumptious morsels. The hazelnuts add an additional crunch, and the flake sea salt awakens your palate. I keep some of this in my freezer at all times, ready to bake off. It’s great for topping your breakfast muffins before baking, or as the top layer of parfaits and petits fours for flavor and crunch. If you really want to make this crumble addictive, once it is baked and cooled to room temperature, toss it with a little bit of melted gianduja.
- Yield: 6 CUPS (1 KG)
- 220 g (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 220 g (1 cup) plus 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 5 g (2 tsp) Maldon sea salt
- 220 g(1½ cups) plus (1 tbsp) all-purpose flour
- 220 g (2½) cups plus 1 tbsp almond flour
- 110 g (1 cup) finely chopped hazelnuts
- Bring all ingredients to room temperature by setting them out on the counter about 1 hour before baking. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and salt on medium speed until just evenly mixed. Turn off the mixer. Add both flours to the mixer bowl and, on low speed, mix everything together until it combines into a soft paste, about 30 seconds. Add the hazelnuts and mix until evenly combined, about 30 seconds more.
- Use a cross-wire cooling rack to cut the dough into crumbles. Place the rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press the dough into a rectangle 1/4 in (6 mm) thick, and place it on the rack. With clean hands, force the dough through the holes of the rack. Alternatively, you can press the dough into a 1/4-in- (6-mm-) thick disk on a cutting board, then use a metal bench scraper or sharp knife to chop the dough into small pieces. (The uncooked crumbles can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.)
- To bake, scatter the crumbles evenly on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until the crumbles begin to turn from golden to light brown. Cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.