Apple crumble is for me one of the most delicious and easy deserts to knock together but I’ve had good, bad and the one that’s annoys me the most which is oats in the topping. They bring nothing to the party and remind me of breakfast! First rule don’t use cooking apples… in fact why would anyone ever use them? They are sour which means to make them vaguely palatable you have to load sugar onto them. I use a good quality small eating apples, my favourite being Braeburns; they are naturally sweet and hold a shape and colour when you soften them in the cooking process.
Work backwards on the amount of people you are serving and the vessel you want to see on your table. It’s always best to serve this one from the table… it’s a ‘Ta-Da’ moment and everyone will be salivating and loving you for your effort, so make it good then work out the amount of apple segments you will need to fill said vessel. As you are bright I’m not going to give you an exact weight – they are apples for goodness sake – buy more than you need and eat the ones left over (another reason to go nowhere near cooking apples). The crumble is the plain basic one your mum and your gran have used for years with a handful of muscovado sugar sometimes known as Barbados sugar. This beautiful sugar has a dark brown colour and is stickier and coarser than normal dark brown sugar.
225g plain flour (8 heaped table spoons)
75g butter – room temp
110g muscovado sugar
1 cup apple or orange juice
1. Peel and cut apples into segments cutting around the core you don’t want pips and stems in your teeth, this doesn’t have to be exact but look to get 4 from each apple.
2. Put into sauce pan together with a cup of juice lid on and bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. You are looking here to soften down the apples but not reduce them to a mush. Around 15 mins should do it but keep checking.
3. While this is happening put flour into a mixing bowl add in butter and sugar and rub in until it resembles a crumble no butter or sugar blobs.
4. When you are happy with your apples with a slotted spoon remove from the pan and place in your cooking vessel. The juice you can cool and drink or turn into a syrup if someone is keeping off cream. Then sprinkle over the crumble until no apple is visible. If you want to serve hot from the oven I put mine in as everyone is sitting down to the main course. Give it 15 mins, take out and cool a little and serve with lovely thick cream or vanilla ice-cream.