Apple crumble is one of those dishes that you can always rely on to turn out well. It’s very difficult to make a bad crumble. It has two main elements – the fruit and the crumble, both of which can easily be adapted.
For the base, you need to use a fruit that can be stewed, apple is obviously the classic but there are many others including: rhubarb, pear, peach, apricot, pineapple and plums. There are also some other fruits which can be used as additions (although probably not entirely on their own): blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, banana, sultanas and mango are all nice when added to another base fruit.
Dependent on the flavours of the fruit, you can add some herbs or spices to bring a bit more flavour: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, lemon, lime or mint. Then you just need to add a bit of sugar on top of the fruit and if the fruits are prone to becoming quite liquidy, then add some cornflour too.
For the crumble – I’m a bit of a classic girl and like the standard flour, sugar and butter mix. Although I do tend to add some porridge oats just to give a bit of bite and slightly different texture, it tastes just as good without. You can also add some nuts such as almonds or hazelnuts if you feel like you want a bit more of a nutty bite. Some ground almond added to the mix also works.
One thing that I have to have is lots of crumble. I love the crumble; that has been and will always be, my absolute favourite part. Why anyone would want more of the fruit I don’t know. But it is important to get the ratio right, as too much crumble is just dry. You need the fruit to balance it out.
Then comes the question of accompaniments – some camps say it has to be served with ice cream (vanilla of course) and others say you can only eat crumble with hot custard. Personally, I’ve never been that picky, I am happy with either. I guess ice cream is the easiest option, as all you have to do is take a tub out of the freezer. But if you can be bothered to make some custard (or heat up some ready made which can sometimes taste nearly as good as home made), then it does make a pretty delicious side serving.
If you have never eaten crumble before; then you should absolutely make this recipe immediately, or at the very least, soon. You won’t regret it and perhaps this will be your go to, good old reliable recipe as well. It is always a winner whenever served; you can make enough for a family meal or a dinner party and have people pleading for more!
OTV Cuisine: Apple Crumble
For the crumble:
- 170g plain flour
- a pinch of salt
- 115g butter (unsalted)
- 55g porridge oats
- 55g caster sugar
For the filling:
- 6 – 7 apples, I used 3 Bramley (cooking) apples and 4 smaller Cox (eating) apples
- 115g caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cornflour
- Start by making the crumble – Sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl.
- Cut the butter into small cubes and toss into the flour.
- Rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the oats and sugar.
- Heat the oven to 190°
- Peel and core the apples, cut into chunks and place into a bowl (drizzle with a small amount of lemon juice to prevent the apples from browning).
- Combine the sugar, cinnamon and cornflour, sprinkle over the apples and toss to coat.
- Place the apple in a shallow oven proof dish, leaving a 2.5cm space for the topping.
- Scatter the crumble mixture over the fruit and sprinkls with Demerara sugar (or normal sugar if you don’t have Demerara).
- Place on a baking sheet in the top third of the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown and the apple is soft when tested with a skewer.
- Serve immediately with ice cream and/or custard.