by Dominic Franks from DomInTheKitchen.com @DomInTheKitchen
It feels very autumnal to be making an apple and pear crumble but it will soon be September which is the month for the best of British apples and pears and I think there's no better way to celebrate than with the humble crumble (or 'crisp' as it is sometimes known in the USA.)
I like to keep it simple, just a sprinkling of vanilla sugar and cinnamon. No pre-cooking for this fruit, but it's for my crumble that I go a bit left-field. I like something with crunch and nuttiness. This could include oats, ground almonds or even muesli. Whatever you choose, at the end of the day it's all about how you serve it. For me, it must be fridge-cold, with cream but I know loads of people have to have it warm with custard. How do you like yours?
This crumble is sprinkled with cinnamon and ginger so the Saunderton Seasonal Shaker came in really handy.
Kitchen tools that could be useful:
Prep: 10 mins
Cooking time: 35mins
for the filling
- 1 cox apples - peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 1 large Bramley cooking apple - peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 2 conference pears - peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- a dash of Cointreau – optional
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- the juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
for the crumble
- 150g butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 50g Demerara sugar
- 100g porridge oats
- 150g plain flour
- 50g ground almonds
- Pre-heat the oven to 170C (fan)
- I’m using a 20cm x 10cm ceramic oval oven-proof dish, but any oven-proof dish would work, just make sure it’s deep enough for a nice thick layer of crumble topping.
- In a large bowl add all the fruit. Pour in a splash of Campari (if using) then stir in the sugar, honey, juice, and zest of the lemon. Let it sit and marinade for 15 mins, then pour this into the bottom of your dish.
- Meanwhile, in another bowl, place all the crumble ingredients and rub together with your fingertips until it’s all combined. You want larger lumps of butter than you would if making a pastry as this will keep it more ‘crumbly’ as a topping. Pour this topping onto the rhubarb and press down firmly. Don’t worry if there are a few gaps in the corners, you want the filling to bubble through a little.
- Bake for 25 mins or until the top is beginning to turn a light golden colour.
You can make both the filling and the topping for crumble in advance as both will freeze well for up to a month. Keep them both separate in freezer bags. You don’t need to defrost them either, they can go into the dish and then directly into the oven, simply bake them for a further 5-10 minutes. If space isn’t an issue, you can also freeze the raw crumble directly in the dish and again, this can go straight into a hit oven.
A crumble can easily be made dairy free and gluten free by subbing out the butter for a non-dairy spread. You can use gluten-free flours too.