Apple Crumble

Over a decade ago, my English mother-in-law shared her basic and delicious apple crumble recipe with me. It is one of my favorite desserts of all times and I have made it countless times over the years. Mostly with apples, sometimes rhubarb or berries. I tweaked the recipe in various directions, my favorite change being the addition of almonds and extra oats, but mostly I tried to figure out how to get that crumb texture just right every time. I also ventured into the world of vegan, gluten and sugar free crumbles, which were still good, but perhaps a little too wholesome. There is no doubt that butter is a crucial ingredient in crumble and without it, it’s just not the same. A little goes a long way however, so don’t worry.

The best part of making crumble is how quick it’s done and how satisfying it is in the end. I have to admit, I much prefer making a crumble than let’s say apple pie. Pie crusts are not my friend, they take too long and are not fool proof. This crumble recipe on the other hand is so easy, you can give it to your kids and put them in charge. No worries.

My favorite apples to use here are Fuji apples. They taste great, keep their shape and still soften nicely. If you can’t get Fujis, ask your greengrocer for a good baking apple. Sometimes I add some cranberries, to make it a bit more interesting. As you can see not everyone in my family agrees with me…

Sorry, this recipe requires a scale, but this is how I inherited it from my mother-in-law. Go out and buy one as even in the U.S., metric recipes are becoming much more popular. You can’t beat the accuracy.

 

 

Serves 8

Ingredients

Topping

  • 100 g spelt, white or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 95 g light brown sugar (I use light Muscovado)
  • 120 g butter (or 1 stick), at room temperature, cubed
  • 75 g whole, raw almonds
  • 75 g old fashioned rolled oats

Fruit filling

  • 5 large Fuji apples, or any other good baking apple
  • 1/2 cup berries (optional)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons real maple syrup

Method

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C)

Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into 8 wedges and each wedge into 3 to 4 pieces. Drizzle with lemon juice.

Place all crumble ingredients except for oats in food processor. Pulse until everything comes together and almonds are finely chopped. Add oats, pulse briefly to incorporate or use your hands. You want the oats to keep their shape. Turn dough into a bowl and set aside.

Lightly grease a shallow, oven proof baking dish. I use a round one with a diameter of 10″ (25 cm).

Place fruit into baking dish and drizzle with maple syrup. You don’t need much unless your apples are really tart. If you don’t have maple syrup, use a little brown sugar instead.

Cover the fruit with the topping bit by bit, making sure each individual “crumble” is no larger than 1/2 to 3/4″ (2 cm). This will get you the right crumb texture in the end.

To prevent your topping from burning and the apples from drying out, cover your crumble with aluminium foil or a lid and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes or until your topping is crisp and golden.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, creme fraiche or thick yoghurt.

Left overs make a delicious breakfast!

 

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