Whenever I feel like a quick pick-me-up of the sweet kind, I always turn to apple crumble. It’s got so many winning factors in my books:
- It’s got a lovely mix of consistencies – hard crumble on top, soft velvety fruit below.
- It’s great both hot and cold.
- It’s sooooo quick and easy to make.
- It’s very adaptable – you can really change ingredients to your heart’s desire.
- I get to use three of my favourite kitchen gadgets:
- my microplane grater (if you don’t have one you are missing out!);
- my KitchenAid Food Mixer (you could use your food processor but I find the consistency of the crumble is then too soft);
- and a wonderful fruit squeezer I purchased from the Bauhaus-Archiv in Berlin – talk about function and form coming together in a perfect marriage.
And – most importantly for me given my condition, it means I can eat fruit!!! I miss fruit terribly….
Here’s the recipe and method to my fool-proof apple crumble – happy cooking!
Ingredients for the topping:
500g plain flour
250g sugar (you can use any kind, I tend to prefer light brown as it gives a deeper taste)
250g unsalted butter (cold from the fridge, cut into small squares)
spices to taste (you can use cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, mixed spice…)
Ingredients for the fruit:
5 to 6 apples depending on size, peeled and cut into chunks (you can use a mix of apples for different tastes and textures)
lemon juice (to taste, I use the juice of 1 whole lemon but I absolutely adore lemons)
lemon zest (to taste, I use the zest of 1 whole lemon)
1 teaspoon caster sugar
Prepare the fruit by peeling the apples and cutting into chunks. Mix them in a bowl with the lemon juice, zest and sugar and leave to sit while you prepare the crumble. (Note: you can choose to vary the fruit as I did this time around. In which case use less apples).
Prepare the topping by sieving the flour into the bowl of your food mixer, then add in the sugar, spices and butter chunks and mix on low (at first) to medium speed until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. You could do this by hand too, by rubbing it in with your fingertips. Do not use the palms of your hands as the heat will cause the butter to melt and the resultant crumble will be pasty instead of sandy.
Lay the fruit mixture on the bottom of your dish and pack the crumble mixture on top. Press it down. Then take a fork and score the top. This will help the crumble to crisp up in the oven. Bake at 180⁰C for around 30 to 40 minutes (depends on the oven and also on how hard you prefer the crumble topping to be). Serve hot or cold, with or without cream or ice-cream.