Finally I picked those apples that we have been growing in the back garden. In August I put up a picture on my Instagram of the blackberries I liberated from over the back fence. The person who owns the land is trying to put lots of houses on there. So I decided to take from the rich and then feed my little ‘middle class’ family with what I took. The results were delicious and it made me think of my Nan’s homemade crumble. The apples and blackberries were also picked from the garden.
My Nan lived through two world wars and nothing in her house ever went to waste. Crumble became popular during the second world war. Food was rationed and many people made a crumble topping as an alternative to pastry. It was a lot cheaper to make a crumble than a pie due to the shortage of ingredients. People added rationed flour, fat, sugar, breadcrumbs or oatmeal to the mix to further reduce the cost. The dish then became very popular due to the simplicity.
In all honesty, if my Nan was alive today she would have loved this crumble. She probably would have said, “we didn’t have these luxury ingredients in my day”. My Nan, god bless her, was not the greatest cook and she didn’t really enjoy it. However, I will never forget her crumbles and this dessert always reminds me of my childhood. So thank you Nan for the great memories I have of this food. Definitely worth a try.
- Chopping board
- Potato peeler
- Large saucepan
- Measuring jug
- Mixing bowl
- Nutribullet or food processor
- Baking dish
For the topping
- Spelt flour x 150g
- Gluten free oats x 150g
- Ground pecans x 100g (Grind in the Nutribullet or Food Processor)
- Sunflower oil x 100mls
- Coconut sugar x 100g
- Ground cinnamon x 1 tsp
- Ground ginger x 1 tsp
- Vanilla powder x 1/4 tsp
For the base
- Apples x 5 eating apples peeled, cored and chopped
- Blackberries x 2 large handfuls
- Lemon x 1 remove zest and juice
- Cinnamon stick x 1
- Star Anise x 1
- Coconut sugar x 2 tbsp
- Water x 50mls
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- Peel, core and chop the apples.
- Add the chopped apples and put them into the saucepan.
- Zest the lemon and then squeeze the lemon juice out over the apples.
- Add the cinnamon stick and star anise.
- Next add about 50mls water and the maple syrup.
- Put on the stove, bring the fruit to the boil and leave to simmer for 20 – 30 minutes or until the fruit has softened.
- About half way through add in the blackberries.
- Meanwhile, start making the crumble in the large mixing bowl.
- Grind the pecans in the nutribullet or a food processor
- Mix together the pecans, spelt flour or oats, coconut sugar and the spices.
- Add the sunflower oil to the bowl and rub together until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Finally remove the apples and blackberries mixture from the heat.
- Then add all the ingredients to the baking dish.
- Start by putting the cooked fruit on the bottom of the dish and then add the crumble topping.
- Put in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve with coconut yogurt/cream or yogurt and maple syrup and enjoy.
Crumbles are always well received when served to my little family and this one was no exception. I don’t know if it was because the apples were homegrown and the blackberries were wild that it tasted so good but we all loved it. Fruit always tastes better when it’s liberated from the land of the rich. Crumble can also be made in advance of a meal. So you could make the base and freeze it. Then on the day make the topping. All that you will need to do is defrost the base and put it together. However you decide to eat this dish, as always, enjoy.
Crumbles what are your favourites? Have you tried this dish and what did you think. Let me know in the comments below as I always love hearing your thoughts. xxx