Today, while driving around town we purchased a 2kg bag of Pacific Rose apples from a man selling them off the back of his truck. The intention was to turn them all into to stewed apples to put on top of my porridge, but when I realised my planned dessert for tonight wasn’t going to happen, the bag of apples came to my rescue.
I love any dish that is made with cooked apples. Apple pie, tarte tatin, apple crumble, stewed apples, poached apples, baked and stuff with cinnamon and brown sugar. My mouth is watering as I type. Growing up, the first apple crumble (apple crisp to me as a child) I made was from a microwave cookbook. I was probably about 12 or 13 at the time. The family had purchased a new microwave and the craze at the time was to cook every meal in it, even down to the dessert. Surprisingly, the crumble turned out really well. The apples were dusted with flour to help the juices form the apples thicken up as they cooked in the microwave. Yes, the topping came out crispy and delicious like it had been baked in an oven. This was my staple crumble recipe for years, which I shared with girlfriends when they asked for a dessert recipe to impress their boyfriends.
Today, I don’t own a microwave. . . . shocking to some, I know, (in fact, I haven’t lived in house with microwave for at least four years. That’s a story for another day) so my crumbles are baked in the oven. This is one of the few dishes where I don’t follow recipe anymore. Though I always look for new ways to play with this classic dish. When we have guests for dinner I’ll bake it in a big ceramic dish. If it’s just me and my partner, like tonight, I bake them in individual ramekins. That way, we don’t overindulge, which I can easily do.
The ingredients I use generally as follows (I’ll do my best to put measurements):
- ~1 apple per serve cut into chunks
- Lemon juice to prevent the apples from browning
- Brown sugar
- Demerara sugar
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Two quick notes before I go into how I prepare my crumble:
- My apple preference is usually a mixture of Braeburn and Granny Smith, so it was interesting to try the Pacific Rose.
- Lately, I have switched from using organic stone-ground white flour to organic buckwheat flour. The choice is yours. No, it doesn’t have to be organic flour. It’s just what is in our pantry.
Squeeze half a lemon over the apples. Lightly dust chunks of apples with the flour, a bit of cinnamon and ground ginger. Cut a few small cubes of butter (about 2 tablespoons) and mix with the cut apples, flour, cinnamon and ground ginger. Divide the apple mixture into ramekins or in one large baking dish. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
For a two person serving (this actually makes about three servings) mix about 1/2 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a bowl. Add about 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Cut about 50 grams of unsalted butter into chunks and add to the bowl. At this point you can either work the mixture into a crumble with your fingers or if you don’t mind some extra dishes put it into a food processor for a few pulses until the mixture is crumbly and is a bit sticky. You may need to more floor or butter dependent on the texture.
Once the topping’s all sorted, sprinkle it on top of your apples. If your using ramekins place them on a baking tray, as it will be easier to take them out of the oven later. Pop them into the oven. Bake between 30 to 40 minutes until the topping has browned and looks crispy. Serve them with a scoop of ice cream, cream, yogurt or all three.
Yummy apple crumble right out of the oven with mascarpone.