Halloween has been and gone. Guy Fawkes’ Night is almost upon us. Christmas is just around the corner. Comfort food season has truly arrived.
When it comes to comfort food, some of the best dishes, whilst simple, take a long time cooking. That’s fine- gives you time to get on with Christmas card lists and catching up on Downton. However, I work pretty much full time, I’m surprisingly lazy, and I want my comfort food done quick. When it comes to main meals, that often means reheating portions, or pasta for me. When it comes to dessert, it means crumble.
You can’t go wrong with an apple crumble- they’re universally popular and extremely versatile. Autumn is apple season, but they are readily available all year round and as such are a kitchen staple, as are the rest of the ingredients in this simple but delicious pudding. Frankly, anyone who doesn’t like crumble is probably a cyborg, anyway, and as such should be cut from your social circle.
Here’s how I make a dessert in minutes, that goes in the oven to cook as soon as the main meal is out. Apologies for imperial measurements- this is how I was taught to make crumble by my mum, and it’s how I remember it.
- 4oz Butter, cold
- 4oz Caster sugar
- 4oz Plain flour, plus an additional 1-2oz as required
- 1tsp Cinnamon
- 5 Eating apples (I used Braeburns. You can use cooking apples, but you will probably only need four, and you may wish to add additional sugar
- Juice of half a lemon
- 4oz Sultanas
- Demerara Sugar and a further scant tsp Cinnamon to finish
Preheat the oven to 180c, or use a hot oven following cooking a main meal.
Rub the butter, caster sugar and flour together with your fingertips to form a crumbling crumb. If the mix is too soft and wet, add the additional flour an ounce at a time and try to crumble it again. Once the mix is working, don’t be too pedantic about crumb size. You don’t want to overwork the mixture, and I like the rustic look.
Next, peel and core your apples. Chop into bite size pieces- about 12 chunks per apple. Place the apple in your ovenproof dish, and acidulate as you go with the lemon juice.
Scatter over the sultanas, a good pinch of Demerata sugar and some cinnamon (a scant 1/2 tsp should suffice), and briefly mix the contents together. Try to even out the top a little.
Pour over the crumble topping in a thick layer, and sprinkle with another hefty pinch of Demerara and another scant 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to finish.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is crisp and slightly caramelised. Serve with lashings of custard, cream or ice cream, and scoff greedily.
If you really HATE sultanas, of course you can omit them. However, they plump up beautifully, and add a beautiful depth of flavour, and amber jewel tone quality to the dessert.
Go make this. RIGHT NOW.
Love and cuddles!