Thursday, 13 June 2013

Crumbs this is a Good Dessert!

I love Apple Crumble. If we go out for a meal and there is crumble on the menu I will normally choose it. At the weekend I will often make a crumble as a special treat for dessert. I remember it was one of he first things I learnt to cook at school in Home Economics. Apple crumble is my favourite and as we have two apple trees in our garden we will have a good supply of apples to see us through the winter. We wrap them in newspaper in the Autumn and store them in the garage. This will last us the rest of the year. Sometimes in September we pick blackberries and freeze them so I can use them in crumbles. Crumble is a very popular dessert in this country and is normally on the menu in most restaurants, usually in the form of apple and blackberry or rhubarb. A couple of years ago I came across a recipe for apple and banana crumble. This may seem an unusual idea but it works really well and is probably the favourite in our house. The sweetness of the banana contrasts really well with the tartness of the apples and it also means you do not need to add quite so much sugar to the filling.  It is nice with a few chopped dates mixed in too. There are many variations on the crumble topping. To the basic mix (flour, butter and sugar) you can add spices (ginger, mixed spice or cinnamon), nuts (flaked almonds, walnuts or pecans) or oats. You can also use soft brown sugar instead of castor and wholemeal flour instead of white. I don't normally use a lot of butter in my cooking (as it is high in saturated fat) but when I make a crumble I do think butter tastes better in the topping. I use a smaller amount and then bulk it out with some porridge oats.

Apple and Banana Crumble.
Serves 4
2 medium ripe bananas peeled and sliced
2 large cooking apples, peeled cored and chopped (about 500g in weight)
1 tbsp of soft brown sugar
6-8 dried pitted dates, chopped

100g  plain flour
50g butter cut into small pieces
50g castor sugar
30gr rolled porridge oats

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 5
Put the apples, bananas and dates (if using) in an oven proof dish
Sprinkle over the sugar and stir to combine
Put the flour and  butter into a mixing bowl. Using fingertips rub together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
Stir in the sugar and porridge oats and rub together again so the mixture is slightly lumpy and not dry
Sprinkle on top of the apple and bananas
Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until  the fruit is soft and the topping crisp and golden
Delicious served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

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