What’s not to love about the beginning of autumn? Floral dresses are replaced by thick cable knit sweaters recently removed from attic storage boxes. School supplies lists are sent home and children sport new character lunch boxes and L.L.Bean backpacks. The air is crisp and cool and spurs you back home to drink a warm pot of tea in anticipation of the winter to come. Fall festivals in every town emerge serving apple cider, donuts and corn chowder, you name the place and I am there (by the food table)!
This crumble was inspired by the wild fresh blackberries I picked in a country lane while ‘taking a turn’ on my daily walk. For weeks during the month of August, I strolled past this long and thorny patch of blackberry bushes. Every time I passed those unruly bushes, I would eagerly and perhaps, naively, taste the blackberries to see if they were ripe. They weren’t and my face would grimace in pain as I chewed on sour bitter bullets. Yuck!
Finally, late one September day, instead of bitter blackberries, I bit into a juicy, delicious blackberry- absolute perfection. I rushed home to grab my Tupperware containers before another rival ambler might have the same idea! I probably looked like a crazy hippy filling my containers with frantic haste, blackberry bushes on one side of the country lane, horse riders and cars easing past me on the other side. Arriving home gleefully with my stash, a 1lb of organic, juicy and FREE blackberries, along with purple hands and a mouth smothered in blackberry juice (I was just making sure they were ripe..a few times…!). These were the most amazing blackberries I have ever eaten. Deliciously sweet, succulent juices filled my mouth and I had to stop eating them so I could have some left over for baking! Since I did not pick enough blackberries to make jam, I decided to make a crumble. But what else could I put in my crumble creation? I had crates of bramley apples freshly picked by yours truly from my grandmother’s huge apple tree a week earlier. Voila, a blackberry and apple crumble came into existence!
I so enjoyed making this crumble. The sweet and mouthwatering scent of freshly peeled apples is heavenly, but also it is so easy to make! Seriously, once you have mastered how to make a crumble topping, you can use it for any other crumble you want to bake and can choose what fruit is in season for the filling! This apple and blackberry crumble tastes divine. Scarily so, as I had to give away a large portion because I kept going back for more! This recipe is all about the fresh gorgeous fruit and the buttery, golden crumble which melts in your mouth and of course, the double cream helps just a teeny bit. Comfort food at its best…
What you will need:
4 cooking apples (I used Bramley apples)
Note: If you use sweeter apples, lower the sugar content in the apple/blackberry mixture
1b/ 8 oz of blackberries
7 oz caster sugar (2 ¾ cups)
8 oz of flour (roughly 1 2/3 cup)
5 ½ oz of butter (or margarine) (1 1/3 stick of butter)
1 oz of brown sugar (1/8 cup)
2 pint dish
Double cream 300 ml (optional)
1. Pre-heat the oven for 375 degrees
2. Peel your four cooking apples. Cut the apples into fourths. Remove the apple core and then slice each fourth into three even pieces. It is almost impossible to remove all the skin on the apple when peeling, so cut all the remaining skin off with a knife. Thinly slice the apples because blackberries are small and need to cook about the same rate as the apples.
3. Spread the sliced apples on the bottom of a 2 pint dish. Do not worry if you think the apples take up too much space in the dish; the fruit will sink a little when cooked. Then sprinkle the blackberries on top of the apples.
4. Sprinkle 2 ½ oz of caster sugar on top of the fruit. Do not mix in the sugar. It will melt into the fruit and juices when cooking.
5. Place the following ingredients in a separate medium mixing bowl:
8 oz of flour
5 ½ oz of butter (or margarine) at room temperature
4 ½ oz of caster sugar
1 oz of brown sugar
6. Use the rubbing in method to mix batter together. You want to form what resembles big, rough bread crumbs. Lift the flour crumble mix with the tips of your fingers, gently letting the mixture fall between your fingers each time to encourage air into the mixture.
7. Evenly spread crumble mixture on top of the fruit
8. Place the tray into the oven and cook for 15 minutes at 375 degrees and then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and cook for about 50 minutes. The crumble is ready when it becomes golden brown and the fruit starts to bubble (you’ll likely notice a little fruit bubbling through the top of the crumble sides when it’s ready.)