It has been a lovely, sunny autumn day today, and as the nights draw in I find that I’m craving comfort food! I have to admit that I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and this Oaty Apple Crumble is definitely one of our household favourites. This recipe has developed over time as I’ve added extra ingredients and experimented with others, so see the optional ingredients to create your perfect crumble. I always freeze half of the apple and crumble, but it is really quick and easy to make – even as a mid-week treat!
4 Bramley Apples (with caster sugar to sweeten and a squeeze of lemon juice)
Cold water (enough to just cover one layer of apples in a pan)
200g plain flour
100g dark muscovado sugar (or soft brown sugar)
100g oats (optional)
1-2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1. Peel the apples and chop into fairly small pieces. Place in a medium/large sized pan and add a squeeze of lemon juice – this stops the apple from going brown. There have been many occasions when I haven’t had a lemon, so I discovered that using golden caster sugar hides the slight browning.
2. Then add just enough cold water to cover the apple. Always be sparing with water – it is much better to add more later if needed, as you can’t take it out once it is in!
3. Cover the apples with caster sugar. I don’t usually measure this out, I just do it by eye. As with the water, you can always add more later if you prefer your apple sweeter.
4. Leave to simmer on a low heat. Whilst the apples are cooking you can start to make the crumble mix – and also pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
5. Rub the butter and flour together until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add in the sugar (if you’re using the dark muscovado you might need to bash any bigger sugar lumps with a wooden spoon) and any optional ingredients such as oats and cinnamon.
6. The apple is cooked when you can squash it with the back of a wooden spoon. I like my apple quite chunky, but if you prefer it a little smoother then you can just give it a good stir. Put the apple into an oven-proof dish and pour over the crumble mixture (remember to box up some apple and crumble mix in separate boxes if you’re freezing some).
7. Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy with custard and a cuppa (or ice-cream and a coffee if you prefer!).