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I Can Only "Bumble" a "Crumble" Topping. Help!

JasperRabbit | Nov 26, 201712:42 PM     9

I've tried making a crumble topping for my sweet potatoes a few times now to no avail. I'm thinking of something that ultimately looks like this (https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/wp-...), and I've followed the directions exactly. I use two knives to cut brown sugar and flour and pecans into cold butter until it forms pea-sized crumbles. It looks fantastic while it's cold, and I pile the chunky, powdery topping on my sweet potatoes and bake them as directed.

But EVERY DARNED TIME what I end up with is a smooth, slightly crispy layer on top that more closely resembles a slightly browned cookie. It doesn't taste bad, don't get me wrong... it's actually quite nice and I receive lots of compliments on them. But irks me no end that I'm incapable of coming up with an honest-to-goodness crumble top. I've posted a photo of this years' yams below (middle).

WHAT AM I DOING WRONG? I feel like the butter is melting and smoothing everything out, instead of melting into rough clumps. The dish came right from the fridge this time, nice and cold... so that isn't the problem. Can anyone help me? Or am I doomed to bumble the crumble for eternity?

Thank you!
JR

Thanksgiving Dinner

Right in the middle are the offending yams... you're seeing a scoop of yam on top of the topping (rather than the reverse), but you can clearly see the topping is NOT a crumble. Like, at all.

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