My husband and I found ourselves scrumping apples from a pub garden the other day. It is not quite as naughty as it may sound; we did have full permission from both the owner and the chef who had so many apples he did not know what to do with them and these were the ones he could not cope with.
The apples themselves were eaters but very sharp and by caramelising them they softened and sweetened. Added to them I had other fruit needing using up so it became a full on fruit mixture.
Apples – peeled, cored and sliced
Pears – peeled, cored and sliced
Seeds – I used Vanilla flavoured pumpkin and sunflower
Melt the butter and add the fruit depending on what you are using. I cooked the apples first with sugar.
When they had softened and the sugar dissolved into a dark liquid coating the apples I added the remaining fruit which did not require as long.
I cooked this stirring regularly allowing the blueberries to split and the differing tastes harmonise amongst themselves. Then I transferred to the serving dish.
With a crumble top I do like to use measured ingredients, this is what I use for the family of 5 or 6 but double for more people. 175g of plain flour with 75g of butter which you rub together until it resembles the texture of breadcrumbs.
Then I add the same amount of brown sugar (75g). Mix it through thoroughly and then scatter over the fruit. It should cover the fruit liberally. I had ready mixed seeds in the cupboard but any neutral seeds or oats could be sprinkled at this point. It gives an added crunch to the crumble.
Cook in a pre-heated oven until you can see the fruit bubbling round the edges and the top has turned a deep golden brown. Top with ice-cream, clotted cream, regular double cream or warm custard. I can guarantee this will go down a treat.
Crumble is a wonderful winter’s pudding but I try to utilise what fruit is available. Blackberries are another great free fruit that has its abundance in the autumn, with sugar added to these they do not necessarily need the pre-cooking.
I also serve my family a wonderful spicy plum crumble when the plums are falling and in abundance. Cut lots of plums in half and remove the stones, add to a pan of melted butter. Add a star anise, freshly grated nutmeg and a couple of cinnamon sticks. Cover this with red wine, golden syrup and some sugar (not too much by now) and allow the fruit to break down and marry the flavours before transferring to the dish. This particular crumble is great if you have visitors, it tastes exquisite and looks professional.
Fruit puddings are a fabulous way of getting fruit into children and mine love the different combinations which work well with each other.
Have you any different combinations that surprisingly work well, share them with me and my other readers.
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