Nino Zoccali's Croatian blackberry crumble


Nino Zoccali is executive chef of The Restaurant Pendolino/La Rosa

Preparation time 15 minutes  

Cooking time 50 minutes 

Serves 8

In many parts of the world, fruit crumble desserts such as this one are reserved for the cold of winter. But not in this case. Blackberries are at their best in summer, and this Croatian staple – an example of Slavic influence on the Dalmatian coast – is beautifully light and fantastic for the warmer months.


150g (1 cup) plain flour

¹⁄₃ teaspoon baking powder

170g cold butter, diced

110g (½ cup) caster sugar

2 egg yolks

Blackberry filling

2 egg whites

110g (½ cup) caster sugar

500g blackberries

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Seeds from ½ vanilla pod

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tbs icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

To make the pastry, mix the flour, baking powder, butter, sugar and egg yolks in a food processor until a dough ball forms. Turn out of the processor and set aside one-third of the dough to make the topping. 

Grease a 20cm pie dish and firmly press the dough into the base and side of the dish to form a crust. 

For the blackberry filling, whisk the egg whites and sugar into soft peaks. Fold in the berries, vanilla seeds and lemon zest and pour into the pie dish. 

Crumble the reserved pastry dough over the top of the blackberry filling. 

Bake the crumble in the oven for about 50 minutes, or until golden.

Allow to cool a little, then dust with icing sugar. This is beautiful with vanilla-bean gelato or cream.