Crumbles are the stuff of ‘what have we got here’ versatility, make-up preserving ease and tarty pleasure.
Some people get quite nostalgic when talking about crumbles; I too have memories of hot, sunny days and seeing my dad languidly stewing up sugar and apples from my aunt’s garden when we were children. My aunt, who lived just streets away, had a swing under the apple tree and that was the exciting bit for us. From shady security, we swung and looked onto rows and rows of immaculately kept tall roses…taller than us.
There were piles of apples under the tree back then, small and green. We’d knock them about whilst swinging, deliberately of course. However, one many of the things that I love about the crumble, is the pure simplicity involved in achieving sigh-some pleasure. I mean, it’s just fruit, sugar, flour, butter and some spices really isn’t it?
I recently did this for a get-together of cousins. I had an hour to muster up a main course for the bring-a-dish evening, as well as dessert. I was sleep-deprived, having been up since 4am and running late…so, what did I do? I made a zingy crumble with an exotic twist. On the top, sticky purple leaked to the surface, suggestively. So suggestively in fact that I noticed before serving time, a few spoons had illicitly made their way into the crumble. I highly recommend it.
3 cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped (I used Bramley apples)
150g lychees, stoned and halved
½ tsp. cardamom
1tsp. ground cinnamon
1 star anise
A generous knob of butter
For the crumble topping
150g plain flour
100g caster sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 180degrees
- Make the crumble topping first, by combining the sugar and the flour, then rubbing in the butter gently, to make a bread-crumb like texture. When it’s ready, put it in the fridge until the topping is needed.
- Turn your attention to the fruit, by heating and melting the butter in a pan and adding the Apples and sugar. Crisp the apples up for 3-4 minutes before stirring in the ground cinnamon, cardamom, and star anise. Turn off the heat and add the blackberries and lychees
- Turn the fruit into an oven-proof dish and spread the crumble topping over the fruit, evenly
- Bake the crumble in the oven for approximately 20-25minutes before serving…ideally hot!