No more pretending, it really is winter now.But winter has its perks – cute gloves, warm boots, hot chocolate, and genuine excuses not to leave the house. Oh, and crumble – the culinary equivalent of a big duvet on a rainy day. So I was delighted when F. turned up on Friday with a bag of cooking apples and demanded the quickest and easiest of crumbles to be featured on the blog. (Unfortunately, we got sucked in to watching 7 hours of Friday Night Lights, so crumble didn’t actually happen till Saturday.)
This is definitely the easiest of crumbles – the topping can be whipped up (well stirred up) in a matter of minutes, so it is really the chopping and peeling of the fruit that is the most time-consuming part. I will admit that the topping is the real reason I make a crumble, and so I like to make it thick, which means you can get both the crunchy top layer and the soft, buttery underneath. For the apple crumble, lemon rind grated into the topping gives it a fresher, lighter taste, whilst orange rind in a plum crumble topping is the perfect winter pud. And the chance to experiment with the balance of cinnamon, nutmeg and maybe even cardamom means the excuse to provide endless variations over the coming months. Just don’t forget the custard.
Also, apologies for the lack of photos of the cooked crumble. When there is a hot apple crumble in front of you, pictures are the last thing on your mind…and we did eat it all. Hence this being the only one post-bake.
For Fruit bases
1) Peel and chop fruit of choice, and place in dish.
2) Sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar, and spices to taste
This volume covered the 9 by 13 dish I used.
340g (2 2/3 cups) plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons caster sugar
6 tablespoons Demerara sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon or orange
220g (or roughly two sticks for you Americans) butter, melted
1) Mix flour, baking powder, sugars and citrus rind in bowl.
2) Add melted butter, and stir until clumps form. If not using immediately, refrigerate until needed.
3) Place over fruit so that the fruit is well covered.
4) Bake at medium heat for 40-50 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like the topping.