Blackberry and apple crumble - the best recipe

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

It wouldn't be autumn without going blackberry picking - the annual foraging tradition loved by so many. An apple and blackberry crumble is the classic way to use them and I admit to having neglected this some years, more through missing the boat rather than not feeling like it. I come from a dynasty of crumble makers. Us women have produced hundreds of these over the years and yet most have fallen short of their full glory. There's nothing worse than a crumble which disappoints. With my complete lack of instinct when it comes to cooking, baking and anything to do with food assembly, I always rely on a recipe to guide me through choppy waters. I wince when I say that my previous go-to recipe was a 'healthy' option which not only failed in texture and taste but really offered little in the way of healthy benefits either. It was time to try something else. Google offered me a recipe from delicious magazine which looked suitably different and I gave it a try. Actually I'm going to be searching there for lots of recipes in future as they have a lot of mouthwatering dishes over there - plus they are easy to print off.

Is it ok to make it three weeks on the trot? Because that's what your girl did. Did I mention I love desserts? Here's my slightly tweaked recipe from the original:

Approx 1100g bramley apples
250g or thereabouts carefully rinsed and sorted to ensure no stems, cobwebs or creepy crawlies have joined the party
3 teaspoons of cornflour
70g caster sugar
240g plain flour
150g unsalted butter cut into cubes. I prefer to use this from the fridge as if it gets too warm you make paste.
120g demerara sugar

Pop the flour in a large mixing bowl along with a pinch of salt and rub in the butter a few cubes at a time. Keeping this cool will help. Once it's fairly fine, don't worry about the odd buttery lump, mix in the demerara sugar and set aside. Pop the oven on to about 160 oC for a fan oven.
Stir together the cornflower and caster sugar in a bowl.
You'll need to work through the apples quickly as they start to turn brown very quickly. I use a vegetable peeler and a small knife to peel and remove the core, and keep them chunky before slicing them at the last moment and adding the blackberries. Sprinkle over the cornflour and sugar mix and stir around the fruit. Grease a chosen baking dish, I prefer a deeper one than too shallow as the fruit always cooks down and if too thinly placed you hardly end up with anything.
Stir round the fruit again then lay it out in the dish, even it up roughly then gently spoon the topping over. Pop on a tray with a teflon sheet as the fruit can bubble up and escape during cooking.

I check mine after around 25 minutes at which point you can tell if it's looking 'perfect' ie golden-ish with a few blobs of oozy fruit round the edge - which would be done or if it still looks much like when you put it in - in which case try again in 10 minutes.

They stay hot for ages so no rush to eat but ours was demolished with a shocking volume of custard.
Even C agreed this crumble recipe was an absolute triumph. Super buttery with the sugary crunch and the syrupy fruit wasn't overly sweet. The original recipe called for more caster but we preferred it with less.

This is one I'll be returning to over and over again. It's hard to say how many official portions it makes but I'd suggest 6 for gluttons like myself. Plus it's pretty much a breakfast dish too, so make a weekend of it.

The blackberries are past their best now, we did gather a small handful for a pie but there were slim pickings indeed.

Have you been crumbling?


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