At the very top of my mother’s garden, there are two apple trees. In the height of summer, they drop the biggest, voluptuous Kardashian sized apples that are good for one thing: baking. My mother does a fantastic Toffee Apple Cake which I am hunting down the recipe for, but what I am able to put together is the summer British staple of a crumble.
Hot fruit under a crunchy crust is all you really need out of a crumble and this here crumble makes use of some really sneaky Autumnal spices. The topping is made out of some really interesting textures to give each bite a dense crust but that gently spiced fruit underneath gives the crunchy blanket a nice soft landing.
There are a lot of ways in which to make this recipe vegan too, but I’ll let you be the decipherer of that. Omit the butter and you’ll be fine, I think. A good crumble had by all.
Peel and core about 4 big cooking apples. My mother showed me how to do this – she could do it blindfolded and with her bare hands, I’m sure – but it’s essentially a case of peeling them, quartering them, slicing the layer of ‘pips’ out and halving again.
Preheat the oven to 200C. In a pan, melt a little butter and once this hits bubbling point, add your apple quarters. Pour in a nice few spoonful’s of soft brown sugar and stir through. Add in a handful of chopped dates and stir around. Keep this on a medium heat before adding the zest of an orange, a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of all spice. Cook until everything softens and the sugar caramelises the apples to a soft, golden texture. Remove from the heat.
In a freezer bag, bash about 80g of almonds to a rubbly mix and pour into a bowl. Throw in about 70g of rolled porridge oats and a handful of pumpkin seeds before drizzling in a little fruit olive oil. Mix this to a crumble texture – like thick old chewy breadcrumbs.
Pour your apple and date mixture into a small baking dish or pie dish before topping with the crust and slip in the oven for about 30 minutes until the crust is crumbly and golden. I serve mine with some neck-cracking cold vanilla ice cream, but my mother prefers double cream. You decide.