Friday, 30 January 2015

Apple and Blackberry Crumble

You know those days when the weather outside is awful, its raining and cold and windy? The days that bring on a hankering for good old fashioned comfort food that you can tuck into whilst curled up on the sofa watching TV. Today was such a day.

The weather here has been so cold and windy and wet over the last few weeks so I was really craving something sweet and warm and oh so comforting. Enter... Blackberry and Apple Crumble! It's a dish that I remember so fondly from my childhood that would always start appearing late September-ish, just as it started getting colder in the evenings, usually as a pudding to the traditional Sunday roast.  

Of course as kids, every year we'd regularly go out to pick the blackberries that would end up in this dish. It was always so much fun tramping through the hedgerows, getting snagged on the bushes, and eating your weight in blackberries at the same time. We'd always return home with purple stained fingers, (and mouths) and a few scratches, proudly carrying our bounty. Blackberry picking is still something I do even as an adult and it's still so much fun! The blackberries that went into this crumble I picked back in late September and froze so that I could get that wonderful comfort food all through the winter even after the bushes were bare. They also taste so much better than the ones you can buy in the supermarket, which really kinda taste like water and cost a fortune! 

This crumble really is so easy to make and tastes just divine especially when served with a good quality Vanilla Ice Cream (Bailey's Ice Cream is also delicious!). The one I remember from when I was a child was much simpler, literally just blackberries and apples with some sugar but I decided to experiment a bit with flavours by omitting the sugar, the apples are usually sweet enough, and adding some Lemon Zest, Ground Cloves and Cinnamon. It gave it a wonderful depth of flavour that was so warming and comforting. If you don't like Cloves you could always leave them out or just go with the Cinnamon if you prefer. I also don't think it matters what apples you use, personally I use whatever I have around, usually Granny Smiths (because i'm a total apple snob and it's the only one I like) or Cox or Braeburn apples. All taste equally delicious, just use whatever you have to hand! I do like that bit of bite that firmer apples keep though.

Blackberry and Apple Crumble: Serves 4


For the Filing:
  • 250g Diced Apples (peeled and cored weight - this was about 3 apples for me)
  • 200g Blackberries (frozen work just fine too)
  • Grated Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/8tsp Ground Cloves

For the Crumble:
  • 225g Plain Flour
  • 115g Butter - Cubed
  • 55g Demerara Sugar
  • 1/2tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/8tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1tbsp Butter
  • 1tsp Demerara Sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/Gas Mark 6
  2. In an ovenproof dish (approx 26cm x 17cm) toss together the Diced Apple, Blackberries, Lemon Zest and Spices and arange in a somewhat even layer.
  3. In a large bowl rub together the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, with a few larger bits of butter still visable.
  4. Stir the sugar and spices into the butter and flour until evenly dispersed. 
  5. Tip the crumble mixture over the fruit filling and level out, don't press down too much as you will get a gummy/chewy texture.
  6. Using the 1 tbsp of butter, dot bits of it over the top of the pie and then sprinkle over the remaining 1tbsp of sugar, this will make for a deliciously crunchy top as it bakes!
  7. Bake int he preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until bubbling and golden.
  8. Serve with Ice Cream or Custard.

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