Apricot and Melon Crumble with Pinenuts Recipe

Crumble Abricot et Melon aux Pignons de Pin

[Apricot and Melon Crumble with Pinenuts]

Maxence and I were recently invited over to our friends Peggy and Julien’s appartment for dinner. They used to live just three blocks down the street from us, but they have just moved and now live, oh, a good six blocks further, so visiting them still has that special neighborly feel to it. Although Peggy is a talented cook, she wasn’t the chef on that particular night : Manu, another food enthusiast and faithful reader of this blog, who is sadly leaving in a couple of weeks to work in Sarajevo, had decided to treat us to a Yugoslavian dinner.

Yugoslavian cuisine is an interesting blend of Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean influences, and we enjoyed a feast of red pepper dip, delicious olives, a tomato and cheese salad (reminiscent of Greek feta salads but with shavings of Yugoslavian cheese), cevapcici (those tiny sausages with the cutest name ever, pronounced “tshay-vap-tshee-tshee”) and a fabulous burek, a spinach and cheese pie made with layers of crispy golden delicious filo dough.

I had volunteered to bring a dessert, of no particular Balkan descent however. It was quite warm so I felt like making something fruity, and since melons and apricots were threatening to disappear from the produce stalls very soon, I decided to combine them in this crumble, as a farewell to them and to Manu at the same time.

I do hope they stay in season long enough for you to try it, so very appetizing with its glowing orange and golden brown colors. The unusual taste of cooked melon adds an interesting depth to the sweet and tart apricot flavor, and the pinenuts (also rather uncommon in sweet dishes), oatmeal and wholewheat flour each add their own voice to make this a subtly flavored and delightful dessert, which would be a great brunch item, too.

As for Manu, he has promised to show me around the hard-to-find Yugoslavian grocery stores hidden in Paris before he leaves. I hope he’ll share some of his recipes too.

Crumble Abricot et Melon aux Pignons de Pin

– one medium melon (cantaloupe or French melon)
– 800 grams (1 3/4 pounds) ripe apricots
– 100 grams (1/2 cup) rolled oats
– 100 grams (1/2 cup) brown sugar
– 100 grams (7 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, diced finely (for a vegan version, substitute 80 grams or 1/3 cup vegetable oil)
– 100 grams (2 1/2 ounces, about 3/4 cup) flour (you can use half whole-wheat, half all-purpose for an interesting taste)
– 50 grams (1 3/4 ounces) pine nuts
– 1/2 teasoon fine sea salt

(Serves 8.)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Grease a baking dish with a little butter (unless it’s nonstick). If you can afford the time and effort, toast the pinenuts in a dry skillet until fragrant and golden. It’s fine if you want to skip this step, because they will toast in the oven anyway.

Rinse the apricots and pat them dry. Quarter them and discard the pits. Cut the melon in half, discard the seeds and stringy flesh from the center of each half, and scoop out the flesh. Combine the apricot and melon pieces in the baking dish.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the rolled oats, sugar, butter, flour, pinenuts, and salt, and rub the mixture with the tips of your (preferably clean) fingers until well blended.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit, and put into the oven to bake for 40 minutes, until the fruit mixture is bubbly and the topping is golden. Let it set on the counter for half an hour to an hour. It can be served warm or cold, with crème anglaise, crème fraîche or a scoop of ice-cream, but it is just as fabulous on its own.

  • hi clotilde,
    that’s another inspirational recipe. I like the pairing of the fruits, but an adding of pinenuts sounds particularly good, too.

  • kjk

    I’ve been enjoying your blog immensely. Thank you so much for doing this.

    What variety of melon did you use in your crumble? I’ve never cooked a melon, and I’m having trouble thinking what type would be appropriate.

  • cheesy chilaquiles


    Looking forward to Manu’s recipe for “cevaps”, I hope he will share it. I envy you your Yugoslavian dinner and will be very interested to hear about your adventures in the local Yugoslavian grocery stores.


  • your photos and description of food is always so lovely and interesting! I feel like i’m eating vicariously!

    It’s really interesting for me ‘cos your cuisine and diet is vastly different from mine, what with me being from Asia, more specifically Singapore.

    I surf by your blog every morning, the moment I step into the office. It’s like a good hearty breakfast to start off the day! :)

  • Thanks for the kind comments!

    Kjk – the variety of melon I used here is the most common in France : the outer skin is pale green with 9 or 10 darker ridges all around, and the flesh inside is orange like an apricot (hence the pairing idea, and the difficulty to know what’s in a particular bite!). Here’s a link to a picture that will give you an idea : http://members.aol.com/punksdad/charenta.gif But you would probably have good success with other kinds of melon. Let me know if you try this!

  • Dana

    Hi Clotilde,

    I think that in American English, the closest relative of the French “melon” is called cantaloup melon. It’s the same size and shape and the pulp tastes exactly the same. The outside, however, is not smooth like the French version, but rather covered with a strange squiggly – and quite pretty I might add – sort of a pattern.
    The combination of those two fruits is quite unexpected and I’m looking forward to trying the recipe.

  • Peter

    Hi Clotilde,

    Yes here in Australia it is known as a cantelope in one State (Victoria) but across the border in another State (NSW) they call it a Rock Melon.
    I lost your site after a computor crash (SP2 patch) but thanks to your newsletter I am back onboard.
    Keep up the great work.

  • Josie

    This looks absolutely delicious, Clotilde!

  • berkeley girl

    Hi, I’m a big fan of your website (it’s particularly good for francophile amateur bakers), and I loved the recipe. Never heard of baking a melon before, and it was great.The crumble was pretty to look at, and the melon had an unsually sweet flavor.

    It’s hard to find orange flesh melons in the US, other than canteloupes, but I found a Tuscan melon, which is fairly close in flavor and texture to the melons I remember having in France.

    I wasn’t sure what size of a baking dish you used, so I used a 9 x 13 x 2 inch (2qt) baking dish. There was just barely enough to create a thin layer of crumble to cover the fruit, and the fruit shrinks. I think the melon also makes the fruit a little runny. Next time, I might use a 9 in square cake pan instead to get a thicker crumble layer and a thicker fruit layer as well.

    For anyone looking for American conversions, I used conversions from this and other websites to come up w/ this:

    1 melon (but keep in mind that most cantaloupes are larger than French melons)
    1 3/4 lb apricots
    1/2 cup oatmeal
    shy of 1/2 cup brown sugar
    7 Tbsp butter
    3/4 cup plus 1 rounded Tbsp flour
    1/4 cup pinenuts

    Also, Clotilde, I was wondering. I notice your directions call for mixing the crumble topping by hand until well blended rather than cutting in the butter w/ two knives until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal w/ a few pea size crumbs (like a streusel topping). If I wanted a more streusel like texture, would I just use two knives and mix less thoroughly or would I have to change the ingredients? Again, thanks for the lovely recipe.

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