Back to Basics

When I was little I used to ask Mum to make me apple sauce – all the time. I loved it. I’m assuming that love for stewed apples is what drove me to start baking copious amounts of apple crumble, courtesy of Delia Smith’s One is Fun. My favourite cookbook for a very long time. When dessert was requested for a family roast dinner, at short notice, this little piece of nostalgia came to mind. Fuss-free, easy to whip up and very forgiving (I’ll admit I may not have stuck 100% to what’s written here) apple crumble and custard it was. 2014-08-16 10.58.16

Normally I can’t get enough of spices but in this dessert it’s not necessary to go overboard. The cinnamon is all you need to bring out the flavours of the fruit. Although I added a couple of cloves for a little depth, they’re not essential. The beauty of crumble is in its simplicity but I just couldn’t resist a twist on the topping. I ground up some almonds and a handful of oats to throw into the crumble. Nothing too exciting, it was mostly to add bulk and stop it being too sandy.

  • 6 red apples (Braeburn, Jazz, Jonagold – whatever is in your fridge)
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Cloves (a couple whole)
  • 100ml water
  • Handful sultanas
  • Squeeze of lemon

*Most recipes say to use cooking apples but I just used what was in the fridge. Apples like Bramely sort of melt as they cook whereas Braeburn’s hold their shape. The sultanas I added for some natural sweetness and because they’re nice juicy little gems to come across amongst the apples. *

Preheat the oven to 180C

Peel, core and chop the apples roughly into cubes.2014-08-16 11.18.02

Tip into a pan along with the spices and sugar, pour the water over and allow to stew over a medium heat.

Squeeze in some lemon juice – I hate sickly sweet fruit and red apples are much sweeter than green so it just added some tang.2014-08-16 11.26.28 2014-08-16 11.51.53

Leave the fruit to stew for 15 minutes or so until it’s soft and slightly golden.

Meanwhile mix together your crumble topping:

  • 150g butter
  • 200g flour
  • 50g oats
  • 50g almonds
  • 100g brown sugar

Whizz the almonds and oats in a food processor – briefly, you want them to add texture to the topping so not too fine.2014-08-16 11.31.12

Rub together with the sugar, butter and flour.

You should have a sandy-ish texture with lumps and bumps here and there. Squeeze some of the mix together to make slightly bigger chunks if you like. 2014-08-16 11.40.36 2014-08-16 11.50.39

Once the fruit has stewed tip it into a casserole dish and sprinkle the crumble mix generously over the top.

2014-08-16 12.00.35

Bake at 40 – 50 minutes, or until golden.2014-08-16 14.34.04

Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes so the topping gets a slight crunch, serve with custard or cream.

2014-08-16 14.51.20

By the end of dinner we were all wed fed and very much satisfied, myself perhaps a little bit too much. I just love those apples.





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