FOOD: APPLE CRUMBLE
This autumnal twist on a classic apple crumble is a hit with youngsters and adults alike, writes Victoria Holtam
When the weather turns bad, is an ything quite so good at banishing the autumn blues as the conforting apple crumble? But here’s one with an extra twist
Halloween seems to be taking over these days and there is no doubt that children love carving pumpkins and the glut of sweets from trick or treating with their friends. However, it was Bonfire Night that we used to celebrate as kids and fireworks and a blaze are still November essentials for our household.
My in-laws have lots of apple trees in their garden. Most are ‘eaters’ but they have a couple of cooking apple trees too and we are always grateful for any donations. When the weather turns cold and the nights draw in, I find myself digging out the recipes for comforting desserts, and few things are as easy to knock up, or as effective at banishing those rain-sodden Autumn Blues, as a nice apple crumble.
This recipe has a ‘toffee apple’ twist using dried dates (which children generally love) and a little boost from some caramel syrup more usually used for posh coffees.
The traditional crumble topping is also tweaked with ground and flaked almonds which complement the apple nicely. I recommend being extra generous with the fruit layer as everybody will want a decent helping of those soft, toffee-flavoured apples.
Serve with traditional custard or vanilla ice cream.
4 large cooking apples (Bramley or similar) about 800g, peeled and chopped into chunks 100g chopped dates 85g light muscovado sugar 25g unsalted butter ½ tsp cinnamon juice and zest of 1 orange 1tbsp caramel surup
FOR THE CRUMBLE
200g plain flour 50g ground almonds 125g chilled unsalted butter 50g light muscovado sugar 50g flaked almonds
1 Peel and core your apples and chop into decent-sized chunks. 2 Melt the butter in a small pan with the sugar, syrup and chopped dates until the butter and sugar have melted together. Then pour over the chopped apples, with the orange juice and zest. Mix well and spoon in to a large ovenproof dish. 3 For the topping combine the butter and flour with your fingertips until you have a nice crumb consistency. Add the soft brown sugar, ground and flaked almonds, give it a quick mix and then heap over the fruit until all covered. 4 Cook for 45 minutes at 180C until well browned and bubbling.