Red skinned shiny apples sat gallantly in the fruit basket on the breakfast counter as I walked into the kitchen.
Having been sick the week earlier, I wanted to make a comeback into the kitchen and what better a way to celebrate my recovery than to homemade divine hearty, healthy dessert with those gorgeous apples. I couldn’t resist the urge to bake something rustic, easy and wholesome. Apple crumble came to my mind. I have baked apple pies before but never an apple crumble, so lazy me googled for the recipe. I wonder what the world would be like without GOOGLE. Stumbled upon a recipe on Nags ‘Edible Garden’ Blog – her ‘super-crazy-easy Apple Crumble recipe (as she puts it) which she combines it with an equally simple vanilla custard sauce.
An inherent quality of mine is the inability to adhere to recipes strictly, I mean I just need to add that extra something to make it my own. I did that here too. Baking is not my forte but the willingness to experiment on unknown territory didn’t seem to deter me. I added some honey and ginger while stewing the apples and added a handful of oats into the crumble mixture as someone suggested in the comments. I also created a base with the crumble mixture in addition to the topping.
Adapted from Nags ‘Apple Crumble’:
For the apple filling:
Apples – 3 medium-sized apples
Butter – 1 tablespoon
Honey – 2tbsp ( depends on the sweetness of the apples)
Salt – a pinch
Lemon juice – a few drops
Cinnamom stick – 1
Ginger – ½ inch stick
For the crumble mixture:
Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
Ready to cook oats – 1/3 cup
Butter – 100 gms
Peel, core and cut the apples into small bite-size pieces. This may sound as tedious task but its my favourite. Use a vegetable peeler and it wouldn’t take more than a few minutes. A few drops of lemon juice will help to stop the apples turning brown plus its adds flavour to the dish. Crush the ginger coarsely in a mortar and pestle and put all the ingredients (apple filling) into a microwave safe bowl and stew the apples for almost 6 – 7 minutes on high. They will turn soft but not mushy. Remember they will cook during the baking process as well.
For the crumble mixture, take the flour, oats and butter and mix well. The butter should be at room temperature to ease the mixing process. The texture should be dry and crumb-like.
Now my favourite part, the layering (primarily because it nears completion). In a greased baking pan (I used an 8inch bread silicon bake ware) pour in half the crumble mixture and create a base by pressing gently. Layer with the apple filling. Pour in the juicy extracts from the apples as well. Next layer with the remaining crumble mixture and ensure the filling is evenly covered. Press gently and sprinkle with either sugar or drizzle honey on the top.
Bake this in a preheated oven at 180° C for 25- 30 mins. If using a microwave, cook at convection mode for about 30 mins. Piece with a knife and check whether the base has cooked. It should come out clean. The top should golden and crusty and you know its done and ready to invade upon once cooled.
You can either serve with ice-cream or with hot custard sauce. I used vanilla flavoured custard powder ( Brown & Polson) for a quick alternative. But I suggest you make the custard sauce from scratch to get the velvety texture.
Here’s the recipe for the sauce:
Blend 1 egg yolk with cornflour along with sugar to taste. Pour in a cup of milk, vanilla essence and mix well. Place the mixture in a bowl on a hot pan of boiling water and stir continuously to get the desired consistency.
Ready to pounce on.
Simplest of desserts and a sensational anytime snack.