As far as dessert goes, a crumble of any sort is simply the bomb diggity, is it not? It's not fancy, it's not necessarily glamorous, but it has the makings of a dessert that ticks all the boxes: it's got crunch, it's warmth & sweetness, it's golden & comforting . . . basically a melt-in-the-mouth type of affair.
So, without further ado, I'll present to you my own go-to recipe for a classic crumble.
Now, as far as I'm concerned there are no hard & fast rules for what you put beneath the crunchy canopy. Only, I would advise fruit, and being a bit of a traditionalist & a romantic, my first choice is most certainly, the humble apple. And then, Bill Granger, via a sweet pie dish of his introduced me to the valuable veg, rhubarb. So with the apples providing a mellow sweetness, the rhubarb adds a slight tang & bite to balance it all out.
So first up, preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
Then gather & prep your ingredients:
For the filling:
1kg Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored & sliced thinly
juice & zest of 1 lemon
300g rhubarb, diced in inch pieces
250-300g sugar (to taste)
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the crumble:
250g plain flour
175g brown sugar
2 tsps baking powder
6 tbsp rolled oats
200g butter, chilled & diced into cubes
Start off by tossing your apple slices with the lemon juice & rind in a large bowl.
Over a medium heat on the stove, melt the butter in a large saucepan or fry pan & once liquid, add your apples. Cook for 5 minutes of until slightly softened.
Then add your rhubarb & sugar, cooking for a minute further. Next add your flour & cinnamon, mix it up, put to the side & allow to cool. Et voilà! Filling. Done.
Now for the fun part! Get ready to get those fingers messy because, I believe, for a winning texture this is quite necessary. Plus, it shows the crumble you care - at least enough to get your hands "dirty". But beforehand be sure to have freshly washed hands, now! And resist diving back in their once you've licked 'em clean.
The method to my madness? Throw all the ingredients, happy as Larry, on top of each other in a generous sized mixing bowl, and then get to work! It's fun & kinda magic because it seems like it's not going to all come together but then inevitably it always does. Like an impossible pie! But that's another dish for another day . . .
And boom goes the dynamite. Now all you have left to do is arrange your filling in a baking dish & smother it in the crumble topping.
Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown & bubbling. Doesn't it sound dashing already?
Whip it out - you don't even have to wait before serving (not in my books, anyway). The ultimate combo is crumble with cream or ice cream . . . or both. Just heavenly.
'til that impossible pie, guys!