25 February 2013

APPLE CRUMBLE WITH A CRISPY FACE LIFT

APPLE CRUMBLE WITH A CRISPY FACE LIFT
'Necessity is the mother of invention'... According to Wikipedia the crumble was invented in England during World War II, when food was rationed, and so the English people, in replacement of pies, created a mix of flour, butter or margarine, and sugar and used this to top sweet fruit - a most wonderful alternative that has not lost it's popularity to this day. I guess not just owing to it's beautiful textures and taste: tangy-sweet cinnamon-flavoured apples, baked with a sweet and crunchy and crumbly topping, but also due to its simplicity: this version requires literally minutes of preparation. 

APPLE CRUMBLE WITH A CRISPY FACE LIFT
There are other more or less calorific or time-consuming versions, with for example pre-steamed fruit, added oats or almond flakes to the crumble, but I personally like this one best: simple, fast, and with tons of flavour. 
APPLE CRUMBLE WITH A CRISPY FACE LIFT
And why add calories when the basic dish is already perfect. For maximum flavour serve warm, with custard, cream or ice cream. And for the dinner-party 'wow-factor' serve in pretty dessert glasses, decorated with fresh OVEN-BAKED APPLE CHIPS.

For the crumble: 
300g plain flour
175g unrefined brown sugar
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
knob of butter for greasing

For the filling: 
5-6 apples (depending on size), for example Cox, Bramley, cooking apples; you should have app. 450-500g cored and peeled
splash of lemon juice
50g unrefined brown sugar, or a little more if apples are very sour
1 Tbsp plain flour
1/2 - 1 tsp ground cinnamon

app. 20 x 20 cm baking dish
APPLE CRUMBLE WITH A CRISPY FACE LIFT
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4. Place an oven rack in the centre of the oven and another on the bottom shelf. On the latter place a layer of aluminium foil slightly larger than the baking dish. This will help to catch any fruit juices that might bubble over the top of the baking dish. Butter an oven-proof dish, app. 20x20 cm in size. For the crumble, sift the flour into a large bowl, add the sugar and mix well. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the flour-mix. 
APPLE CRUMBLE WITH A CRISPY FACE LIFT
Using your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mix, a few cubes at a time and rubbing the mixture until you have what resembles fine breadcrumbs. At the very end take handfuls of the mixture and compress, then rub again thereby leaving some larger pieces of crumble. If you prefer your crumble fine, omit this last step. For the filling, peel and core the apples, then cut them into small cubes. I like my apples fairly melted so I cut them pretty small. If you prefer them with a bit more bite cut them into larger cubes. As you cut the apples sprinkle and toss them with a little lemon juice to avoid them from discolouring. 
APPLE CRUMBLE WITH A CRISPY FACE LIFT
Once all apples are cubed, put them in a bowl, add the flour, sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Spoon the apples into the buttered dish and spread them out evenly. 
APPLE CRUMBLE WITH A CRISPY FACE LIFTAPPLE CRUMBLE WITH A CRISPY FACE LIFT
Sprinkle the crumble on top then bake in the pre-heated oven for app. 40-45 minutes or until the crumble is golden-brown and the fruit mixture is bubbling. 
APPLE CRUMBLE WITH A CRISPY FACE LIFT
For maximum flavour serve warm with vanilla custard, cream or ice cream; decorate with OVEN-BAKED APPLE CHIPS
APPLE CRUMBLE WITH A CRISPY FACE LIFT


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APPLE CRUMBLE WITH A CRISPY FACE LIFT



Serves 4

For the crumble: 
300g plain flour
175g unrefined brown sugar
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
knob of butter for greasing

For the filling: 

5-6 apples (depending on size), for example Cox, Bramley, cooking apples; you should have app. 450-500g cored and peeled
splash of lemon juice
50g unrefined brown sugar, or a little more if apples are very sour
1 Tbsp plain flour
1/2 - 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Utensils: app. 20 x 20 cm baking dish

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4. Place an oven rack in the centre of the oven and another on the bottom shelf. On the latter place a layer of aluminium foil slightly larger than the baking dish. This will help to catch any fruit juices that might bubble over the top of the baking dish. Butter an oven-proof dish, app. 20x20 cm in size. For the crumble, sift the flour into a large bowl, add the sugar and mix well. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the flour-mix. Using your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mix, a few cubes at a time and rubbing the mixture until you have what resembles fine breadcrumbs. At the very end take handfuls of the mixture and compress, then rub again thereby leaving some larger pieces of crumble. If you prefer your crumble fine, omit this last step. For the filling, peel and core the apples, then cut them into small cubes. I like my apples fairly melted so I cut them pretty small. If you prefer them with a bit more bite cut them into larger cubes. As you cut the apples sprinkle and toss them with a little lemon juice to avoid them from discolouring. Once all apples are cubed, put them in a bowl, add the flour, sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Spoon the apples into the buttered dish and spread them out evenly. Sprinkle the crumble on top then bake in the pre-heated oven for app. 40-45 minutes or until the crumble is golden-brown and the fruit mixture is bubbling. For maximum flavour serve warm with vanilla custard, cream or ice cream; decorate with OVEN-BAKED APPLE CHIPS
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