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!
- 2 large stalks of rhubarb
- 1 Bramley apple
- 50g/1¾oz demerara sugar
- 3 cardamom pods
- 100g/3½oz plain flour
- 25g/1oz rolled oats
- 10g/⅓oz almonds, roughly chopped
- 75/2½oz cold butter, cubed
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6
- Remove the cardamom seeds from their husks and grind finely with a pestle & mortar
- Slice the rhubarb into 2½cm/1inch slices
- Peel, core & chop the apple into 1cm/⅓ cubes
- Put the rhubarb, apple, half the ground cardamom and 2tbs of the sugar into a medium-sized bowl and mix until the sugar coats the fruit evenly
- Decant the mixture into a 30cm x 15cm oven-proof dish
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, oats, sugar, chopped almonds, butter and remainder of the cardamom. Rub in the ingredients with your fingers until they resemble coarse, lumpy breadcrumbs
- Cover the sugared fruit evenly with the crumble mixture
- Cook for 20-30 minutes until the top has begun to brown and fruity syrup is bubbling up
- Allow to cool slightly and serve with custard or vanilla ice cream