First Crumble of the Year! – Cox Apples & Mixed Red BerriesPosted: November 12, 2012
After our tasty marmalade chicken on Saturday night, the other half turned to me and asked what was for dessert. Hmmm. I knew we had two lonely cox’s apples rolling around the fruit bowl, and suggested we could bake them with some butter and brown sugar, and top with some honey and nuts. Tasty yes, but a crumble was being requested. And who doesn’t love a good crumble? The only problem was that two little apples does not a crumble make! Luckily, Rob triumphantly announced that there were some mixed frozen berries in the freezer! Normally if I were to make a an apple and berry crumble, I’d probably have a greater apple to berry ratio than the other way around, but the extra berry-ness worked really well. There were some delicious cherries in the mix and these were fantastic, they added a real tartness, which I love in a fruity desert.
As a child we were brought up on regular crumbles – a great way to use up fruit and get yet more of the stuff into your kids! I remember phoning home from university and asking my mum to read out her recipe down the phone to me, and ever since then, it’s remained a firm favourite, which I too can now reel off by heart. We’d have many happy teas at home on a Sunday consisting of mum’s homemade soup and mum’s crumble – perfect, delicious comfort food!
Most years we are lucky enough to receive copious amounts of apples from Rob’s family – his parents’ house used to have an orchard out the back and they still have a few particularly fruitful trees, the harvest of which is shared around family and friends and turned into a range of tasty desserts and chutneys – more often than not crumble in our house! Apple and bramble and apple and plum are probably my two favourite combinations, but the possibilities are fairly endless!
So, I’m not going to share my mum’s exact ‘secret recipe’ but the basic premise is this – don’t just stick to boring old flour, sugar and butter! Reduce the amount of flour you would normally use, and once you’ve rubbed your butter into it, top it up with a good variety of tasty textured ingredients including a decent lot of porridge oats! Think (pre-toasted, it really is worth the extra effort!) sesame seeds and dedicated coconut, flaked almonds, chopped nuts, sunflower seeds… whatever you fancy really. Also, the sugar should always be demerara and, in my opinion, should be less than most recipes suggest – I don’t like my crumbles too sweet!
So, here are a few pictures of our first crumble of the year, to get you in the mood for winter! I’m sure there will be many, many more as the months progress! How do you like to make your crumbles?