When I was buying ingredients for last week’s apple and raisin puff pastry tart I needed two cooking apples. However, the Bramley apples in the supermarket were being sold in packs of four. I’m making an apple and sultana crumble this week to use up the two that were left over.
I may have mentioned before that fruit crumble isn’t one of Justin’s favoured puddings – he thinks the crumble topping is too often soggy, floury and not very nice – especially if too thick or a bit undercooked.
I think my crumble topping recipe is none of those things; it forms large, crunchy, nutty morsels.
Sprinkle granulated sugar over the top of it just before it goes into the oven for extra sweetness and crunch. You can serve it with thick, cold cream, hot creamy custard or a scoop of vanilla ice cream – they’re all good!
- 2 Bramley (or other cooking) apples, peeled, cored & roughly chopped
- 25g/¾oz butter
- 100g/3½oz sultanas
- 50g/1¾oz Demerara sugar
- 50g/1¾oz plain flour
- 50g/1¾oz porridge oats
- 50g/1¾oz flaked almonds
- 50g/1¾oz Demerara sugar
- 75g/2⅔oz cold butter, cubed
- Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat, melt the 25g of butter
- Add the chopped apples, sultanas and Demerara sugar and stir until the apples are just beginning to soften (about 5-10 minutes)
- Put the mixture into a greased baking/pie dish
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, oats, almonds and Demerara sugar
- Add the cold, cubed butter and rub into the dry ingredients - but not to much - you want the mixture to have quite large lumps
- Spoon the crumble evenly over the apple and sultana mixture so that it's completely covered
- Sprinkle a little golden granulated sugar over the top for added crunch (optional)
- Put the dish into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the crumble topping turns a lovely golden brown
- Serve with custard, thick pouring cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream
In a recent post, we mentioned that Justin wasn’t a massive fan of fruit crumble – there was utter disbelief amongst some of our readers! We’ve talked through it over recent weeks – it’s good to get things out in the open. To be precise, he doesn’t like a soggy zone between the fruit & browned topping. The merest hint of uncooked, wet flour and there’s real distress.
Now we’ve identified the true cause of his phobia, we’ve been able to work through it together (with the help of a crumble counsellor) and have experimented with different methods. We don’t add any water to the fruit or pre-cook it any more – and top with thinner layers of crumble mix to produce crispy, crunchy perfection. There’s no stopping him now – strawberry, pear, plum – bring it on!
So, for this week’s Cakes & Bakes we’ve got a crumble – rhubarb, apple & cardamom crumble.
The cardamom adds a distinctive and really interesting twist…
…and chopped almonds in the topping also worked well.
So, the only decision left to make – custard, cream or ice cream. It was a custard kind of day for us!!
Second helpings for Justin – we really have moved forward from those dark, crumble-free years!
- 150g/5oz ground almonds
- 200g/7oz icing sugar + extra for rolling
- 2tsp almond extract
- 1 egg white
- 115g/4oz butter, softened
- 115g/4oz caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 125g/4½oz self-raising flour
- 300g/10½oz mixed dried fruit ( any of currants, raisins, sultanas, mixed peel, glacé cherries)
- 1tsp mixed spice (I didn't have any, so I made my own mixture)
- 4tbsp apricot jam (I used some home-made plum jam)
- cocoa powder, for dusting
- Put the ground almonds, icing sugar, almond extract and egg white into a food processor and combine until a thick ball of dough is formed
- Turn the paste out onto a work surface and knead it a few times. Roll it into a log and wrap in cling film until the cake mixture has been made
- Any unused marzipan will keep for a month in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer
- Pre-heat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas mark 2. Line the base and sides of each tin with baking parchment
- Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy
- Add one of the eggs and combine until well mixed. Add the other egg with 1 tbsp of flour and mix again
- Stir in the rest of the four and all of the dried fruit
- Liberally sprinkle some icing sugar on a work surface and roll out the marzipan. Cut out 8 circles about ½cm thick and the same diameter as the tins
- Divide half the cake mixture between the tins and level the tops. Put a marzipan rounds on top of each and cover with the rest of the cake mixture
- Bake for an hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes away clean
- Allow the cakes to cool in their for 15 minutes before remove them to cool completely on a wire rack
- Trim the top of each cake with a sharp knife to make them flat
- Heat the jam and brush on the top of each cakes before cover each with the remaining marzipan rounds
- Make 36 mini balls with the remaining marzipan. Put 9 balls around the edge of each cake, using a little brush of jam to stick them in place
- Lightly sprinkle with cocoa powder