Sunday, 16 June 2013

Pretty Ugly Caramel Apple Crumble

In doing this blog, I'm very aware that the food I put up here will never be the prettiest around. I don't say that to be modest or to fish for compliments, I swear! It's just that I'm no master chef or cake decorator. I learnt entirely from Nigella Lawson, the Lifestyle Food network and my Mum! And my photography? Well, its getting better but quite frankly my 5 year old niece flukes photos that are just as good when she gets to play around with the good camera.

But one thing I can say is that I will never, ever put anything up here that doesn't taste amazing or is just run of the mill. That I can wholeheartedly manage.

Which leads me to this Caramel Apple Crumble. I literally could not make it look pretty or photograph it well. Not even in my new Jamie Oliver baking dish ($9 impulse purchase from Big W if you're interested!). So, you're just going to have to take it from me, that this is a brilliant crumble in all its ugliness. It's sweet, with soft apples stewed in caramel sauce, topped with dark brown sugar crumble which was both a bit chewy and crunchy at the same time. Sound good?

Now, I'm a firm believer that hot puddings are best eaten with cold ice cream or cold custard, but if you really have to heat the custard, go ahead. (Or you have made the custard from scratch and it's still hot, in which case, go you!!). I tried my hardest to convert my Dad to the hot/cold dessert phenomenon when we had this, but to no avail. Hot custard it was for a very picky but happy Irishman!

This crumble is really simple. You literally can't go wrong. You do have to make caramel, which I usually avoid like the plague, but even if that goes horribly wrong, it will be fine. Better than fine, it will be delicious. Pretty ugly, but delicious!

Caramel Apple Crumble (serves 6)


Caramel Apple Mixture

8 small red apples
1 cup dark brown sugar
75g butter
1 cup thickened cream


3/4 cup plain flour
50g cold butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats


1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Peel, core and cut apples into cubes of about 2-3 centimetres. Don't be too particular though.

2. In a medium size saucepan, melt 1 cup dark brown sugar. Remove from heat and add butter. Stir gently to combine. If it seizes up or crystallises, don't worry!

3. Keeping the mixture off the heat, slowly pour in the cream and whisk to combine. If you have something resembling a beige soup here, again don't worry! It will thicken up and become golden when baked.

4. Place the caramel back on to the stove on medium heat and toss in the apple pieces. Leave to stew until softened.

5. Spoon softened apple into a heatproof dish and pour over some of the caramel sauce.

6. Make the crumble by placing the flour, sugar and cold butter in a mixing bowl and rubbing the ingredients together with your fingertips to combine. Make sure the butter is straight out of the fridge and don't be tempted to mix the crumble any other way. When you are done it will resemble wet sand.

7. Throw in the rolled oats and combine with your hands. Then sprinkle the crumble over the apple mixture and bake for 30 minutes. If you're not ready to serve it after 30 minutes, turn down the oven to 100C and leave it there to keep warm.

8. Serve with ice cream or custard.

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