One of my first experiments with my new wood stove, this recipe is inspired by my neighbour, Jac, who bakes her crumble topping first, so that it stays nice and crunchy. You can use the crumble topping with any poached fruit you have around – peaches or apricots or even fresh berries, if you’re feeling extravagant.
FOR THE TOPPING
140g salted butter
80g packed light brown sugar
60g chopped walnuts
FOR THE APPLES
900g cooking apples,
like Golden Delicious, Geeveston Fanny or Bramleys, peeled and cored
25g castor sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Preheat your oven to 200ºC (if you’re cooking on a wood-burning stove, start the fire 3 hours prior). Rub the first 140 grams of butter into the flour, combining until it has the texture of coarse breadcrumbs, then add the brown sugar, walnuts and oats. The mixture can now be re-rubbed until it becomes coarse and lumpy.
Sprinkle onto a baking tray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, gently stirring occasionally – but don’t break up the lumps as you stir. When topping is crunchy and golden, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Once cool, the crumble mix can be stored in an airtight container and used whenever needed. It’s nice on yoghurt or ice-cream and it will keep for a couple of days.
Now, on to the apples. Reduce the heat of your oven to 180ºC. Cut the apples into quarters, then cut each quarter into three wedges. Melt the remaining butter in a large saucepan and once bubbling, add the apple pieces. Cook for a few minutes, then add castor sugar and lemon zest. Cook on a medium heat until apples are softened and tender, about 15 minutes. Spoon into a 2-litre baking dish and top with the chunky crumble topping. Place in your pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the apple is bubbling around the sides. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving with cream or thick Greek
Recipes and images taken from A Table in the Orchard by Michelle Crawford, $34.99, Random House.
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