Saturday 20 August 2011
Heartwarming apple and blackberry crumbles
It’s been a year since my better half and I made the first tentative steps towards a relationship. Wanting to celebrate, but feeling somewhat skint after recently making the (slightly larger!) step of moving in together, my boyfriend offered to spend the evening cooking any dish my heart desired in the comfort of our new home.
It’ll be no surprise to hear that my love of gastronomy means that 95% of meals eaten by our foundling nuclear family are produced by me - so this was a particularly gallant (some might even say brave!) suggestion. To show my gratitude, I felt it was only fair if he were compensated for this potentially painful hour slaving over a hot stove by being treated to his favourite pudding: apple and blackberry crumble.
Admittedly it was the middle of summer, but who doesn’t love sharp stewed fruit covered in crunchy caramel crumbs at any time of year? Plus, when would there be a more fitting occasion to trial my new heart-shaped Le Creuset ramekins?
This is a slightly adapted version of the crumble recipe from doe-like beauty Sophie Dahl’s “Voluptuous Delights” – her original mixture fed six people, so I reduced the quantities but added extra oats (because in my eyes you can never have too much chewy topping):
Core and chop 75 grams of apples, and place in individual ramekins alongside 75 grams of blackberries. Dot with about a teaspoon of butter and around a tablespoon of brown sugar to ensure the fruit melts into a bubbly compote.
In a bowl (or a blender, if you’re lucky enough to have one) mix together 40 grams of flour, 50 grams of porridge oats and 30 grams of butter until it looks like “nubbly breadcrumbs”. Once it has reached this stage, mix in 20 grams of brown sugar. My man isn’t a fan of cinnamon, but normally I’d add in a dash of woody spice at this stage too.
Cover the fruit with the crumble, sprinkle with a little extra sugar and bake it in a pre-heated oven at 200C / gas 6 for about half an hour. It’s ready when the bubbling fruit starts to peak through the gaps in the golden brown nuggets of crunchy oats.
This dessert cooked straight from the heart was served with the leftover double cream from my beloved’s delicious lamb passanda, but it would be just as tasty with ice-cream in summer and runny custard when the days get colder.