Easy apple crumble
During the past few months, our family has made this easy version of a traditional pudding a number of times. It is such a quick and easy treat. The flavours and textures are just what you need to lift the spirits. The touch of spices in the nutty crust and soft, almost caramelised apples are enough to make even the non-pudding eaters ask for more – time and time again.
Perfect for baking
Apple pie, apple tart, apple pudding or crumble, call it what you want, it’s an all-round favourite. There is a treasure trove of apple pie recipes around the world, but I keep coming back to this delicious combination of everyday ingredients. I love using Pink Lady® apples in many ways, and in particular to bake or cook with. These apples have a naturally sweet flavour that is great to add to so many dishes, from salads, sambals, sandwiches or sweet treats and even a chicken curry. Pink Lady® apples retain their structure, even when cooked, making them the ideal apple filling, ‘cause no one wants a mushy apple filling.
Apples and spices are synonymous and it doesn’t need to start and end with cinnamon. This recipe uses cinnamon and mixed spice, but you can be adventurous if you want and add nutmeg, allspice or even a pinch of cloves or ground cardamom. And if you are daring enough, make a combination of all of these for a real sweet spice burst of flavour.
Don’t be tempted to peel the apples, it’s really not necessary, and a rather time-consuming exercise. There are a lot of nutrients in (and just under) the apple skin, plus it adds lovely colour to the dessert.
Many people enjoy ice cream with an apple crumble. We have two favourites, either a homemade custard, flavoured with vanilla and finely grated lemon rind (see the tips). Or plain double cream yoghurt, also with a touch of grated lemon rind and cinnamon stirred in for added flavour. And if you love blueberries, whether fresh or frozen, do add them as part of the filling too (see the tip below) – absolutely delicious.
Easy apple crumble
Serves 4 – 6
45 ml (3 tbsp) soft brown sugar
45 ml (3 tbsp) butter
5 ml (1 tsp) ground mixed spice or cinnamon
6 medium pink apples, Pink Lady® apples are ideal, with the skin on, cut into thin wedges
75-100 ml dried cranberries or raisins
180 ml (100 g) cake flour
100 ml (100 g) hard butter, cubed
125 ml (45 g) uncooked oats
75 ml (60 g) soft brown sugar
2,5 ml (½ tsp) ground cinnamon or mixed spice
50 g almonds or pecan nuts, finely chopped
homemade custard (see tip), plain yoghurt or vanilla ice cream for serving
1. Apples: Preheat oven to 200 °C. Lightly grease a shallow, medium-sized oven dish with some butter.
2. Melt sugar and butter over a medium heat in a large frying pan. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the spices and apples and mix through.
3. Reduce the heat and gently simmer apples for 15-20 minutes or until just soft. Stir the cranberries into the warm mixture and spoon into the oven dish.
4. Crumble: Meanwhile, prepare the crumble while the apples are simmering. Place the flour, butter and oats in a food processor and blend together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Or rub the butter into the flour and oats with your fingertips.
5. Add sugar, cinnamon and nuts and blend again in the food processor or mix with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough.
6. Crumble the dough in an even layer over the apples. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately with custard, plain yoghurt or ice cream.
1. Prepare homemade custard according to the instructions on the packaging and season with a dash of vanilla essence or powder and finely grated lemon rind from ½ a lemon – it’s such a special flavour.
2. Substitute the cranberries in this recipe with 250 ml fresh or frozen blueberries.