Thursday, 4 June 2009

Apple and Blackberry Crumble

For me, and many other Brits, a fruit crumble (with Vee-gan custard, of course) is the ultimate comfort food. Although hot puddings are generally better suited to cold winter evenings, there are times in the summer when I'm so exhausted by the insane heat, the insane children, the neighbour's mentally retarded, caterwaulling cat and general summer shenannigans, that I'm afraid only a steaming hot pud will do. And what better taste of British summer than sweet, soggy apples and melt-in-the-mouth blackberries? (Especially if you pick/grow your own.) Though you might want to replace the custard with a good soya ice-cream.

(serves 4 normal people or 2 bulimics)


4 fat, 6 medium or 8 midget apples (approx 700g)
Approx 250g/ 1 cup plus a handful blackberries
100g/ 1/2 cup any sugar (golden granulated is good)
4-5 tablespoons water/orange juice


200g/ 1 cup plain flour (You can use wholewheat if you enjoy the taste of cardboard; I'll be using white, thank you very much...)
100g/ 1/2 cup vegan margerine
100g/ 1/2 cup demerara sugar (or other sugar, whatever...)
80g/ 1/3 cup chopped almonds/pistachios (optional but yummy and crunchy!)


1. Preheat oven to gas mark 5/ 190C/ 375F

2. Place apples, water/OJ and sugar in a large pan and heat semi-gently, stirring often, until soft and un-liquid-y (usually 10-15 mins). Add blackberries and bring to the boil, then remove from heat and pour into baking dish or ramekins.

3. In a mixing bowl, rub together margerine, flour, sugar and chopped nuts if using (I use my electric mixer for this as it's super-fast and I'm incurably lazy).

4. Sling the whole lot on top of the fruit in the baking dish(es), and distribute evenly.

5. Bake for35-40 mins, until golden brown on top.

6. Serve with lashings of custard or ice-cream (or both), and a pint of vodka/gin/other preferred road to ruin.

7. Melt into a fuzzy, warm, fruity, gin-y puddle of contentedness.


Pear and blackberry crumble

Replace the apples with equal amount of pears and omit the water/orange juice.

Apple and Maple crumble

Use only 50g sugar in the filling and add 3 tablespoons good maple syrup.

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