The British and Irish Apple season is just about under way, with early season harvests hitting the shops right now, and much more to come. Apples and Pears are something we do very well on these shores, and there is really little need to be sourcing apples from overseas at this time of year. This week my local Sainsbury's had British Bramley apples on offer, so I spent yesterday afternoon getting the wee man involved in making a crumble. Crumbles are incredibly easy to make, and are great fun for kids to get involved with, as a the crumble topping itself is made by rubbing by hand, so you can con them into thinking it's mucky, playful work. You can also make it dairy free by replacing the butter with vegan spread. For a twist on the traditional topping, I replace half the flour with some porridge oats.
750g of peeled, cored and chopped cooking apples (or pears if you prefer)
75g of caster sugar
100g of plain flour
100g of oats
75g of butter or spread
Half teaspoons of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger (optional according to likes/dislikes)
1 tablespoon of Demerara Sugar
Place the apples in an oven proof dish and sprinkle with 25g (aprox 1 tablespoon) of the caster sugar and the ground spices. Mix and set aside. If you want you can add a small glug of apple brandy at this stage for a more grown up touch.
In a mixing bowl add the flour, remaining caster sugar, butter and oats and rub through your hands until it resembles course breadcrumbs. Press onto the apple mix and sprinkle over the Demerara sugar.
Bake in an oven pre-heated to 200° C for 40 minutes until the sugar on top is browning.