This basic Apple Crumble recipe is the perfect introduction to classic English puddings and pudding-making in general. It is very quick and easy to make, can be produced a day ahead and is great either hot from the oven or at room temperature. Pretty much everyone loves apple-based desserts – from apple pie to baked apples – so it is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser too. I love to eat it with a drizzle of double cream but you can also eat it with custard, which is probably more traditional, or with a good vanilla ice cream.
I use only cooking apples in my crumble. These are apples which will disintegrate to a mush when cooked so that you have a thick apple puree at the base of your crumble. Eating apples will retain some firmness when cooked. If you want a bit more texture to your crumble, you can use a combination of half cooking apples and half eating apples. In my view, just using eating apples for a crumble doesn’t really work as they do not give that soft, thick apple sauce that you need for this kind of pudding. Keep the eating apples for deserts such as tarte tatin where you want your apples to keep their shape.
The only flavouring, apart from apples, is cinnamon which is a classic flavour companion. The smell of warm cinnamon-spiced apples is guaranteed to make you feel warm and cosy on a cold winter’s day.
This basic Apple Crumble recipe is a classic English pudding which brings together cinnamon-flavoured apples with a crisp, buttery topping.
1 kg cooking apples (eg Bramleys)
25 to 50 g caster sugar
A little ground cinnamon
175 g butter or vegetable fat
350 g plain flour
175 g caster sugar
Pinenuts or flaked almonds
Set your oven to 180 C, 400 F or Gas Mark 4.
Peel and core the cooking apples. Cut into pieces of approximately 1 cm.
Put the apple pieces in a large baking dish (20 cm x 28 cm). Sprinkle with caster sugar. You will need between 25 g and 50 g. The amount of sugar depend on the sourness of the apples and also how sweet you like your crumble. You can taste a piece of the apple to see how sour it is. Add a little ground cinnamon.
Next make the crumble topping. Put the 350 g flour and 175 g butter (or vegetable fat) in a bowl and “rub in” using your fingers, or use a food processor, until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Then stir in the 175 g of caster sugar.
Pour the crumble topping on top of the apples.
Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
If you wish, you can sprinkle some pinenuts or flaked almonds on top of the crumble for the final 5 minutes that it is in the oven. They should get brown and toasted (but not burnt) if they are added at this stage.
You can eat your crumble hot from the oven or at room temperature. I think it is best at room temperature, not a traditional view (!), as it brings out the flavours of apple and cinnamon.
This Easy Apple Cake combines sharp cooking apples with toasted hazelnuts and brandy-soaked sultanas. It is a versatile cake which can be eaten with morning coffee or afternoon tea but also makes a great pudding, particularly if served warm with cream or ice-cream!
I have a Bramley apple tree in my garden which means that in late August and early September I get a huge over-supply of cooking apples. This is the season for all things apple – Apple Crumble, Apple Pie, Apple Sauce! I also get to work freezing the apples – I peel, core and chop them first – so that they can be used later on in the year. Although this is a bit laborious but I get the benefit later in the year when I have ready-to-use cooking apple chunks in the freezer to make a quick crumble or pie.
Until recently, despite the early autumn apple frenzy, the one thing I didn’t make was Apple Cake. This year, I decided to give it a go and, continuing on the autumnal theme, decided to add hazelnuts and sultanas.
This is a fantastic cake to make during early autumn which brings together sharp cooking apples, toasted hazelnuts and brandy-soaked sultanas.
100 g sultanas
1 tablespoon of brandy or apple brandy (or apple juice)
225 g butter
350 g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
500 g cooking apples (eg Bramley)
100 g of toasted hazelnuts (finely chopped)
175 g caster sugar
3 large eggs
a little white or brown granulated sugar (optional)
Heat your oven to 180 C, 400 F or Gas Mark 4.
Put the sultanas in a ceramic bowl and add the brandy or apple brandy. Put in the microwave to heat for a few seconds and then set aside. The sultanas will plump up as they absorb the alcohol. If you do not want to use alcohol, you can use apple juice as a substitute.
Grease a 20 cm loose-bottomed cake tin. If your tin is not non-stick, line the base with a circle of grease-proof paper or baking parchment.
Cut the butter into small cubes and put it into a large bowl. Sift in the flour and cinnamon.
Rub the butter into the flour, either by hand or using a food processor, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Peel the cooking apples with a vegetable peeler, remove their cores and roughly chop.
Add the chopped apple, plumped-up sultanas, chopped hazelnuts and sugar to the mixture. Then stir in the eggs.
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin. Place it in the oven for one hour until it is golden and firm to the touch.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin on a cooling rack. You can sprinkle granulated sugar (white or brown) on the top of the warm cake to give it a crunchy topping.
Keywords: apple cake, apples,
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