This time of year is apple-picking, cider-making season, for fruit just off the trees, and apples don’t get tastier than that.
At no other time of the year, do apples taste as good as they do from the end of August to the middle of October.
It’s also the time of year when that wonderful pudding we call a crumble really comes into its own. It seems in recent years to have been supplanted by the pie, which is a shame, if you ask me, because for a proper pudding, with a dollop of cream, a spoon or two of ice cream, or a splurge of custard, you can’t beat the humble crumble. And a pie isn’t really a pudding, which, for me, invokes thoughts of farmhouse baking, and pies should be savoury. Don’t get me wrong, I’m partial to sweet pies too, but crumble beats pastry any day.
And apple crumble is probably the best sort of crumble.
2 Bramley (or other cooking) apples, peeled and sliced (I didn’t peel them)
opt. handful or two of berries
150g self-raising flour
opt. handful of oats
Stew the apples down in a splash of water, perhaps with some blueberries. Tip into a baking dish.
To make the crumble, mix the butter, sugar and flour (and oats if using) until it looks like breadcrumbs. Pour over the top of the apples. Maybe sprinkle some extra sugar on top. I was taught to trace a snail-swirl in the top, but that’s optional.
Bake until it smells ready, or about 20 minutes.
Serve with cream, ice cream or custard.
And never mind about granola for breakfast – this cold! So much tastier than granola or cereal.