This week L's parents came back from their summer holiday to their appartment in Florence and a seaside town, cecina that they have visited with their children and now, their eldest grandchild.
Tales of long, hot summer days spent frolicking on the beach are often recalled with great excitement. I've not had a beach holiday for years, and certainly never had one in as hot a place as the Tuscan coast so I look forward to taking M one day when she is old enough not to sit and eat the salty sand all day long.
When they return from Italy, B and D are always particularly generous with gifts for the children and wedges of aged, grainy parmesan and when in season, fruits from their garden or the amazing markets just around the corner. On this occassion they replenished our fruit bowl with delicious figs, peaches and apricots.
During their flight home, the peaches and apricots had got a bit battered - it seems they were just too ripe to hold their shape in transit.
Rather than waste them, a recipe where their bruises weren't obvious was needed. I am a huge fan of warm crumble, taken out of the oven an hour before a meal is due to start so that it is just warm when you finally spoon some cream or yoghurt, my prefered accompaniment to crumble, over the top.
For the filling
4 ripe apricots
3 ripe peaches
2tsp orange flower water
50g caster sugar
For the crumble
200g plain flour
125g caster sugar
150g soft unsalted butter
Slice the peaches and apricots into a heavy bottomed saucepan along with the orange flower water, caster sugar and water.
Stew over a medium heat, stirring often, until the fruit is just pulpy and has produced a syrupy orange sauce.
Place the flour and sugar into a large bowl and mix well.
Cube the softened butter into the flour and rub in using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Spoon the fruit mixture into an ovenproof dish, then sprinkle the crumble mixture onto the top.
Bake in the oven at gas mark 4/180C for 30 - 40 mins until the crumble is golden and the fruit just bubbling up at the surface.
Serve with cream or yoghurt and a big dollop of nostalgia.