The first recipe I’m sharing is my family apple crumble recipe. I like to twist it up somehow, though, so on this occasion I added raspberries and some cinnamon to just lift it slightly out of the ordinary.
Mr Scrumptious was converted to crumble when he tried my apple crumble a few months ago, so this is a simple, warming winner!
Crumble is so easy, it makes an ideal recipe to try with kids or a cooking-shy friend. I like to prepare the topping before the fruit, to keep the apples looking white and appetising. This recipe is quite sugary, but I compensate by not sweetening the fruit, so it gives you a lovely contrast between the tart fruit and sweet biscuity topping.
6 oz plain flour (or wholemeal if you prefer a nuttier flavour)
6 oz caster sugar (Daddy Scrumptious uses granulated, but I prefer a smoother biscuit topping)
4 oz butter, margarine, or baking fat
1 generous tsp cinnamon
3 generous-sized baking apples
1 punnet raspberries or about 100g of any other fruit you wish to add.
- If using a harder fat such as real butter or Stork, cut into fingers and leave at room temperature to soften for ease of mixing.
- Add your topping ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using the tips of your clean, dry fingers. Keep rubbing until the ingredients are well combined into fine, squidgy crumbs. You shouldn’t have any loose flour, sugar, or fat on its own in the mixing bowl.
- Set the topping aside now and turn to your fruit. Wash, peel, core, and chop the apples into small slices (about the size of a dried apricot). Add soft fruit of your choice (optional) and place in an oven-proof dish. I like to use a Pyrex casserole dish so I can check how the fruit’s doing.
- Scoop handfuls of the topping, and distribute evenly over the fruit until it’s all used up. Don’t worry about the bits which escape into the fruit. They make it deliciously squidgy underneath and satisfyingly crunchy on top. Press down lightly if your topping is at risk of escaping.
- Bake at gas mark 5/6 190-200 Celsius for around 20 minutes. If you’re cooking a roast or casserole, pop a lid on your crumble and bake it in the bottom of your oven, to save fuel. It’ll be slightly cooler at the bottom, so you have some leeway with the timing. A Pyrex dish is great because it lets you check the fruit has softened and is bathing in bubbling juice, as well as the top being a golden brown.
Let the crumble cool slightly, then serve with your favourite cream, custard, or ice cream.
Tip: If you don’t like the thin, tart, fruity juice at the bottom, add some dried fruit such as sultanas, as they will help absorb the liquid and make your fruit a little drier. I love the juice, though, so I stick to fresh fruit.