Time of the Season: The best Blackberry Apple Crumble

29th August 2019

If you’re trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, buying and eating local, seasonal produce is one of the easiest ways to start.

While you may have to live with a few less slices of avocado toast, eating fruits and vegetables that are actually in season is one of the easiest ways that consumers can reduce their carbon footprint, as in-season produce is more likely to be locally sourced rather than imported.

On top of the carbon produced from air miles, tropical fruits and vegetables have to be refrigerated to prevent them from spoiling, which means extra energy is spent on refrigerators – which then eats up to 15%-20% of fuel.

Support Local Produce

If you can, sourcing your produce from your local farmers market also means supporting local suppliers over large corporations, whilst avoiding unnecessary plastic wrapping in the process.

End of August/start of September is prime season for both apples and blackberries in the UK, which can only mean one thing – blackberry apple crumble.

Outlining a recipe for fruit crumble is almost sacrilegious, given that it’s so cheap and simple to make. In its most basic form, fruit crumble is simply cooked fruit topped with a mix of butter, sugar and flour combined together. It’s one of those much beloved recipes passed down from your granny, who probably didn’t get it from a recipe book and wouldn’t have dreamed of Googling “best crumble recipes” for guidance.

While it’s not necessarily the most “glamorous” desert, it’s quite possibly the tastiest way to celebrate whatever fruit happens to be in season without slaving over a hot stove, or destroying your kitchen in the process. Plus, it has an undeniably comforting quality which is ideal for when the short evenings begin to creep in come September.

Preparation

This recipe can easily be modified depending on your skill, and more seasoned bakers could even include a pastry base to create a blackberry apple crumble tart. Adding a base layer to your crumble adds extra structure and texture for a more “refined” looking desert. If you’re an absolute beginner, the more basic recipe will still pack a punch without any of the precision needed to tackle making pastry. It’s all going to look the same in your stomach anyways – crumble by name, crumble by nature.

Ingredients

  • 450g apples
  • 175g blackberries
  • 150g demerara sugar
  • 225g plain flour
  • 175g cold butter
  • 125g muesli or granola

Equipment

  • Two large mixing bowls
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting boards
  • Sieve

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 190°C, or 170°C for a fan oven.

Sift flour together with a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl.

Cut up butter into small cubes (about half an inch wide) and add it to the flour, lightly rubbing the mixture together between your fingertips until it resembles the texture of bread crumbs, leaving some larger pea-sized lumps.

Stir in roughly a third (50g) of your demerara sugar into the mixture, along with granola or muesli.

Place your crumble mixture in the fridge to cool while you prepare the fruit filling, to ensure the butter doesn’t melt.

Peel and chop the apples into even chunks, keeping in mind that smaller pieces will cook faster – so if you like a jammier filling, cut smaller chunks.

Mix the apples and blackberries together in a bowl, and toss with cornflour and 50g of sugar. Set aside the mixture for a few minutes to allow the ingredients to incorporate. and if you feel adventurous you can add CBD and take your recipe to the next level.

Evenly spoon the fruit mixture into a greased baking dish, and then spoon the chilled crumble mixture evenly over the top of the fruit. Sprinkle the remaining sugar on top for added crunch.

Bake for 45 minutes, checking every now and then to make sure the topping is browning evenly.
Remove crumble from oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes or so before serving with cream, custard or ice cream or yogurt.

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