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I don’t normally make desserts as neither Dan nor I have a sweet tooth, but we had guests coming over tonight so I decided to go to the extra effort – and if I’m making a dessert, I might aswell make one that I can eat, right?
I decided on apple crumble as I had been given some apples by my mum from our garden at home and I thought this would be the perfect way to use them. I also decided to add cinnamon as I’m trying to eat a more anti-inflammatory diet at the moment and cinnamon is very good for digestion – and it tastes great! This recipe made enought for 4 individual (but quite large) crumbles so if made in a large dish it could probably serve up to 6!
I started by peeling and slicing the apples – I sliced each one into quarters and took the core out, then sliced each quarter into about 10 slices (the thinner you slice them, the faster they will cook, but it doesn’t really matter about the size of the pieces). Then I added them to a saucepan with 100ml of water and cooked them over a low heat with the lid on, stirring occasionally until they start to break down.I like my apples quite chunky, so when I get to the stage in the pictures below I take them off, but it’s personal preference (about 20-30 mins should do it). Alternatively you can put them in a microwaveable dish with the water and blast them for 4-5mins for a similar effect but I try to limit my use of the microwave wherever possible. Once they are at this stage you add the cinnamon and the honey. Start off with half the honey and then taste and add more if needed. You may even need to add more than I did if your apples are especially tart, but remember that the crumble topping is VERY VERY sweet so don’t over sweeten the apples – just enough to take the edge off of the sourness.
The bonus is that this point your kitchen will smell amazing! I love the smell of cinnamon in cooking – it almost smells like Christmas!
Next, fill the ramekins about two-thirds of the way full with the apple mixture. I made individual ones but you could always just make one large one if you prefer family style eating!
Then it’s time to prepare the crumble topping. Add the ground almonds, coconut oil and honey to a food processor and pulse until the mixture starts to form clumps like in the picture. Spoon the mixture onto the top of the apple and set aside until you are ready to cook – but don’t put them in the fridge, room temperature is best otherwise the apple won’t cook before the top burns! If you’re making these in advance, you can keep them in the fridge overnight but make sure to bring them to room temperature before cooking.
I put the crumbles into the oven as we sat down to our main course of Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder. Th even was at a nice low 140C temperature, already pre-heated from the lamb and it took us about 20mins to eat our mains which was about the right amount of time in the oven for the crumbles – although maybe a bit too long as they were just starting to burn on the top (I have to confess that I forgot about them a bit!) If the top starts to burn before the filling is heated through, you can always cover them with a piece of tin foil which should prevent further browning.
I served it with a choice of cream, ice-cream or custard but everyone went for the custard – traditional English style! It was such a treat to have a dessert and this one is so easy to make that it really is the perfect one for when you have guests over and a million other things to do. Warming and hearty and sweet, it feels very decadent but there are no refined carbohydrates or refined sugars, only natural ingredients.You could always change-up the filling – add in some blackberries or switch out the apple for rhubarb or plums, whatever you have to hand or whatever your taste buds are craving.
What’s your favourite fruit crumble? I need some ideas for a new filling!!
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