|Hot Blackberry and Apple Crumble|
Yesterday afternoon I put together a blackberry and apple crumble for tea. I used the blackberries that we had picked from the hedgerows and just added one or two cooking apples (Bramleys) but the apples are not necessary - you could use just blackberries, or even add some apples from the crab-apple trees which you can find growing in many places. It is nice to make such a thrifty meal, but if you use the crab apples, they are very acidic and sharp to the taste. You will have to add extra sugar to counteract this.
Some more thrifty tips:
1. Make up more than one crumble at a time, enough to fill your oven so as not to waste electricity or gas. Make sure all the dishes fit on the shelves and bake all at once.
2.Cool, wrap and freeze the extra crumbles. I spoon them onto foil that I have turned up the edges of to stop leakage, and then wrap the edges of foil over the top to make a convenient package to slip into the freezer. They are so quick to reheat in the microwave.
3. Portions: To me, the pudding is not supposed to be a filling meal, but a little treat or finisher. I often see photographs of desserts where the portions are huge. I find it helpful to serve puddings in smaller bowls, rather the enormous ones that people seem to use nowadays.
4. If you are using evaporated milk, you can dilute it by adding the same amount of ordinary milk. This brings the cost down, but it is hard to detect any change in flavour. Also, evaporated milk can make you feel over-full as it is so rich, and can overpower the taste of the dessert iteslf
5. If you do not wish to make a lot of crumbles at once, keep your made-up crumble in the fridge and bake when you have the oven on for other things. Sometimes, I like to bake small potatoes in their jackets to fill unused areas of oven shelf. You just wash and slide your smallish potatoes onto a long skewer, like a kebab, which makes them cook quickly. I have heard that you can freeze cooked jacket potatoes, but I have never done it. (I would like to hear if you have done this)
Blackberry and Apple Crumble
Enough blackberries to cover the base of your baking dish
One or two cooking apples to cover the blackberries
6 oz Plain flour
3 oz butter ( or baking margarine)
2 oz sugar ( I used demerara, but any sugar is fine)
A sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
Put a layer of blackberries in your baking dish. I have put in mine straight from the freezer.
Peel, core and slice one or two cooking apples and lay over the blackberries. Sprinkle on a little sugar. (You can sprinkle on a little cinnamon here if wished, or you can sprinkle it over the crumble before baking, or leave it out altogether).
Now make your crumble mix. Put the plain flour, butter or margarine (cubed) and the sugar into a bowl and rub the fat into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Sprinkle this mix over the fruit to cover.
Bake at 200c/180c Fan/Gas 6 for around 35 minutes until light golden brown.
If you have other things in the oven that require a different oven temperature, you can still bake them together, just keep an eye on the crumble and take it out when it is golden brown.
Serve hot, with custard, evaporated milk, cream, or a scoop of ice-cream
Thank you to Mari for pointing out that some people know this dessert as a "cobbler" rather than a "crumble" This may be another cause of confusion between US and UK terminology.
A UK cobbler is a scone-topped recipe. This is quite often used with savoury recipes too, for instance, a plain scone topped Cottage pie.
Although they are not exactly the same, I think that scones are known as "biscuits" in the US.
Of course... Biscuits in the UK are an entirely different thing! Not like scones at all, but like cookies.
It is getting complicated so I will stop here : )