Apple crumble

Autumn is the perfect time of year for apple crumble. It’s probably my favourite apple-based pudding recipe, and is so quick and easy to make. If you find yourself wandering around a local village and there are a couple of buckets outside someone’s house with a sign saying “free apples”, then it would be rude not to grab a couple of handfuls to take home and turn into this autumnal classic.

This recipe should make enough crumble for 6 portions, 4 portions in the dish pictured, and 2 more in a foil tray that has gone in the freezer (they freeze brilliantly – once you have assembled them just put them straight in the freezer).

You will need:-

Some apples (around 1 per portion should be enough with any normal sized cooking apple).
Handful of sultanas (optional)

150g plain flour
100g sugar
100g cold butter, cubed

To make the crumble topping, put the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl and add cubes of cold butter. Now just rub everything together in with your fingertips until the mixture starts to resemble moist breadcrumbs. Give the bowl a quick shake to make sure there are no big lumps – if there are then just rub them a bit more. If you prefer a food processor, you can pulse the mixture for a minute or two, taking care not to overwork it.

As with all apple recipes, you need to work fast to stop them from discolouring. If you like to take your time, then pop them in a bowl of acidulated water (water with a teaspoon of lemon juice or similar) after you’ve peeled them, and put them in the bowl again when you’ve chopped them. When you are ready to assemble your crumble, simply remove them from the water and start putting things together. I like to sprinkle a little more sugar over the apples when putting them in the dish, you might prefer a more tart flavour. You can also add sultanas if you want, sprinkling a handful in with the apples.

When your apple mixture has almost filled up your dish, press everything down and then cover with your crumble topping. Sprinkle a little more sugar over the top (I prefer demerara for the topping as it gives a crunchy texture) and then bake in the oven at 180C for 30-40 minutes. I prefer mine served with ice cream, but custard is also comforting on a cold day…

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