There’s nothing more comforting, as the nights draw in, than a crumble made with the last of the blackberries combined with Turkish figs and this season’s bramley apples.
You can be inventive with your fruit combinations. I just happened to have some fresh figs. The week before I used redcurrants in place of the figs but alas, they are not to be found. I use ground almonds in the topping as they are readily available but if you can find ground hazelnuts (a rareity these days) or best of all, whole hazelnuts - grind them in a processor and mix in with the topping. I buy my hazelnuts from Natoora who supply restaurants but are happy to take retail orders online.
This recipe serves 4 and I trebled the ingredients as I was making it for a 12 people.
a good knob of butter
3 large Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped
75g caster sugar
150g blackberries or any other wild berries, blueberries or elder berries.
2 figs cut into pieces
zest of a lemon
40g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
30g ground almonds or hazelnuts
80 g plain flour
good handful of rolled oats
cream, creme fraiche, vanilla ice cream or plain yogourt, to serve
Preheat the oven to 190 C/375 F/gas 5. For the filling, melt the knob of butter in a wide pan, add the apples and sugar and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring ocassionally, until the apples begin to break down, but are not too soft.
Take off the heat and stir in the blackberries and figs, then add the lemon zest. Put all the filling into a medium size ovenproof pie dish or individual dishes if you prefer.
For the topping, mix the unsalted butter, almonds, sugar, plain flour in a food processor, or rub between your fingers – the purist way – until it looks like breadcrumbs. Finally mix in the rolled or porridge oats which give the topping some texture.
Sprinkle the crumble topping over the filling and bake in the middle of the oven for 3o – 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve it with cream, creme fraiche, vanilla ice cream or plain yogourt. I served mine with Tim’s Dairy Greek style natural yogourt. It’s lovely and thick and goes a treat with crumble.