Apple Crumbles

An apple crumble is like the epitome of comfort food in my book. Its warm, you can eat it with custard (as far as I’m concerned, custard constitutes its own food group) and it makes use of any excess tart apples you may have hanging around looking mournful in your kitchen. This afternoon it started to rain (again) just as I was in the kitchen sorting out dinner – lamb and tomato pasta. I decided that such weather was just screaming out for an apple crumble and I’ve been craving them all week so I took advantage of the opportunity.

Crumbles in general are quick and easy to make. I work on 1 and a half pieces of fruit per person (if you’re doing apple, pear, peach, plum etc). If you’re using berries I would go with a cup per person, give or take. One of the main debates in crumble is the amount of crumble for the amount of fruit. I personally like a lot of crumble with my fruit and so am more likely to use more. I also make more crumble mix than I need and freeze the excess. This makes it even faster to get crumble-y goodness going the next time. Some people put spices into their crumble, either tossing it with the fruit or adding it to the crumble mix. I didn’t tonight but am partial to a little cinnamon once in a while. Depending on your fruit you may want to add a little sugar to the fruit itself, just a sprinkling mind because the crumble mix has sugar in it. I do this when the apples are particularly tart.

Apple Crumbles
1 and a half apples per person, peeled, and chopped into 1cm pieces
100g oats
100g flour
100g light brown sugar
100g butter, cold
nuts of your choice, if you so desire-about a handful, roughly chopped

Divide the apple pieces between 4 ramekins. Preheat the oven to 180C.
In a standing mixer, place the flour, oats and sugar. Cut the butter into cubes and add in. Mix until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Using a spoon, place the crumble mix on top of the apples. Don’t be afraid to pile it up, the apples will cook down in the process so the mix on top will fall in too.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until the apples are soft and the crumble mix is brown. Serve with custard, ice-cream or cream.

The nut addition is personal. Sometimes I add some in, other times I don’t. This time I did not but I find when I make berry crumbles, like blueberry for example, the extra nut crunch adds an unexpected texture.