I’ve woken up to a true autumnal morning. After the dry, sunny, warm days of September, this morning has been cool, damp and gray. Russet leaves are rapidly collecting on the ground and I’m feeling a sudden urge to make every other drink a hot chocolate. So what better time to indulge in a quick and easy comfort food bake?
British apples are at their best at this time. Sweet, crunchy, the harvest has been a good one this year. Even familiar Bramley cooking apples seem bigger than ever. What better way to use them up than by making something to be served toasty warm on a dark evening once the curtains have been drawn and you’re all cosy. Nutty apple crumble with a crunchy crumble topping fits the bill perfectly.
This is a simple recipe that can be made ahead. The layered apple and crumble topping can be cooled and kept in the fridge for 24 hours before baking and serving. For a twist, I’ve gone for a crunchy topping filled with nuts and seeds, but you can omit these and increase the amount of flour if you either don’t like them or can’t eat them.
I took crumble topping inspiration from the Queen of Bake Off herself, Mary Berry – her recipe is here. You may have to adjust the amount of sugar when stewing the apples to get it sweet to your taste. You can swop in other nuts too – pecans would work well. Here’s the ingredients and recipe so you can get baking:
3 Bramley cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped into chunkc
3 – 4 tbsp caster sugar
75g plain flour
50g porridge oats
100g light muscavado sugar
100g softened butter
150g walnuts, roughly chopped
50g sunflower seeds
1. Unless you’re making this ahead of time, preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Place the chopped apples, sugar and water in a large saucepan. Heat gently and stir occasionally until the apples begin to break up. Keep cooking until most of the apples have broken down but there are still good sized lumps. Take off the heat and set aside.
3. For the topping, mix the flour, oats and sugar in a bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and add into the flour mixture. Rub the butter into the flour mixture using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
4. Stir the chopped walnuts and seeds into the flour and butter mixture.
5. Place the apples into an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the top. At this stage, you can let the apple crumble cool and cover and store in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it.
6. Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until the topping is golden brown. Serve warm with cream or custard and enjoy!