I’m on my summer break but it’s actually the beginning of autumn and the days are definitely getting cooler and the nights are drawing in. But – there’s something very special about autumn. I don’t know whether it’s the reminder of returning to a new school year when I was younger but autumn always puts me in a reflective mood. It’s as if the earth is saying “Right, I want to be quiet now and fall asleep so please don’t disturb for at least another six months“. It feels so peaceful and all the summer fruits are either going over or are ready to be picked and cooked – including apples and blackberries.
So this recipe is a good old apple and blackberry crumble. The good thing abut this recipe is that you can made the compote and the crumble well in advance. Then bring them together, pop into the oven and it will be ready after you’ve eaten your main course.
This is a Raymond Blanc recipe but I’ve noticed quite a few cooks use this method of cooking the crumble. Some also add oats before it goes into the oven. I found the recipe didn’t need oats when it was cooked this way.
- For the crumble topping
- 240g plain flour
- 120g caster sugar
- 120g unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
- For the fruit compote
- 600g apples of your choice
- 60g unsalted butter
- 60g demerara sugar
- 230g blackberries
- half tsp ground cinnamon
- Custard or vanilla ice cream, to serve
- Heat oven to 190C/170C fan (gas mark 5)
- Tip the flour and sugar into a large bowl. Add the butter, then rub into the flour using your fingertips to make a light breadcrumb texture. Do not overwork it or the crumble will become heavy.
- Sprinkle the mixture evenly over a baking sheet and bake for 15 mins or until lightly coloured.
- For the compote, peel, core and cut the apples into 2cm dice.
- Put the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan and melt together over a medium heat. Cook for 3 mins until the mixture turns to a light caramel.
- Stir in the apples and cook for 3 mins.
- Add the blackberries and cinnamon, and cook for 3 mins more.
- Cover, remove from the heat, then leave for 2-3 mins to continue cooking in the warmth of the pan.
- To serve, spoon the warm fruit into an ovenproof gratin dish, top with the crumble mix, then reheat in the oven for 10 mins.
- Serve with custard or vanilla ice cream.