In the past week, autumn has reared its ugly head. Don't get me wrong, there are things to look forward to, like the changing of the leaves and an excuse to put cinnamon in everything, but wearing tights, huddling away from the harsh Northerly wind and sunset at 4pm are not my favourite parts of the year. One thing to see me through the start of autumn (which, let's face it, will only last another fortnight before winter hits Newcastle like a train) is Blackberry & Apple Crumble, one of my most treasured autumnal foods. I've had it every year since childhood, though where I once could forage through the hedgerows for blackberries I now have to traipse through Morrisons for them instead.
My most recent memory of this dish is when I was in hospital with appendicitis last year. I'd been nauseous from the antibiotics for days, but when my dad brought some home made Blackberry & Apple Crumble into hospital for me it brightened up my mood and restored my appetite. Just what the doctor ordered!
My parents, whose love of this dish I inherited, have different ways of making this crumble; I tend to take my dad's approach. My mum stews the apples first, whereas my dad just slices them straight into the dish and layers them up with sugar and blackberries. Either approach will work, it depends on your preference.
I think it's acceptable to eat crumble at any time of day - I had it for breakfast today and for pudding last night. The only problem with its omni-meal capacity is that it runs out far too quickly, so it may be a good idea to stock up on blackberries before they go out of season. This is best served warm with custard, or maybe some vanilla ice cream.
- 200g Blackberries
- 500g Bramley Apples
- 100g Plain Flour
- 30g Butter
- 100g Caster Sugar
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan.
- To make the crumble topping, put the flour, butter and 75g of the caster sugar into a mixing bowl. Rub together using the tips of your fingers until the ingredients are all incorporated and have taken on a breadcrumb appearance - for more tips on this proceduce take a look at The Basics. Put to one side.
- Peel, core and slice the apples into thin segments.
- Layer the apple slices in an ovenproof dish with the blackberries and all but a tablespoon of the remaining sugar.
- Cover the fruit with the crumble topping, and sprinkle the remaining sugar on top.
- Place in the oven for 25 minutes, until the fruit is soft and the crumble has turned golden.
|Best served with custard.|