Apple and Blackberry Crumble

Wednesday 24 February 2010

This is the time of year when I begin to reap the benefits of all those hours spent in the Bramble Hedges last autumn, picking bucket after bucket full of blackberries. I have bags and bags of them in the freezer, just waiting now for me to make them into lovely pies and crumbles. They look so pretty and promising coming out of the freezer, like little purple jewels all covered with frost.

There is nothing so satisfying as a delicious hedgerow fruit crumble in the dead of winter . . . it is something we really look forward to, and indeed it is the thoughts of just such treats as this that keep me in the hedgerows picking long after I feel tired and like giving up . . . the thoughts of a fresh crumble on a rainy winter's day . . . all warm from the oven, and juicy and sweet . . . beneath a blanket of buttery crumbs . . . along with lashings of warm custard or cold cream from the fridge gilding it's sweet edges . . . autumn berry picking is a labour of love . . . and perhaps more than a little gluttony . . .

This crumble is a bit different than most, in that you make a luscious toffee sauce to cook the fruit in . . . and the crumble on top is filled with lovely toasted almonds. Oh, it is soooo good. I could almost eat a whole meal of this and nothing else . . .

It is so pretty . . . the apples tinted in pink and ruby colours from the blackberries . . . the crumble topping golden brown and crisp . . . the cream soaking in around the edges of those crumbling buttery cliffs and meandering through the sweet/tart fruit . . .

A bowl of the leftovers for breakfast perhaps??? I think it would go down rather well, don't you??

*Apple and Blackberry Crumble*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

A delectable mix of tart cooking apples, sweet bramble fruits and a luscious caramel sauce beneath a blanket of crisp and buttery almond crumble.

150 g caster sugar
100ml of water
60g unsalted butter
3 cooking apples (about 900g) peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch dice
50g of blackberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 tsp cinnamon

for the crumble:
75g soft light brown sugar
75g plain flour
75g flaked toasted almonds
75g unsalted butter

To serve:
pouring cream, custard or vanilla ice cream

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Butter a shallow oval gratin dish and set it aside.

Place the caster sugar with the water into a heavy based saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until it becomes a delicious toffee gold. You will want to give it an initial stir to help the sugar dissolve, but after that leave it alone just until it begins to change colour. Add the butter in small pieces, whisking it well after each addition until the butter is completely incorporated. You should have a thick butterscotch sauce. Stir in the cinnamon. Add the apples and cook for an additional 4 or 5 minutes. The mixture will seize up, but don' be worried. This is completely natural and to be expected. It will loosen up and melt again as the pan continues to heat. After five minutes, pour the fruit mixture into the prepared baking dish. Tuck the blackberries here and there throughout.

Place all the ingredients for the crumble into the bowl of your food processor. Whizz until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Scatter the crumble mixture evenly over top of the fruit.

Bake for 40 minutes until the crumble is lightly golden and the fruit is bubbling around the edges.

Serve warm with your preferred accompaniment.


  1. i LOVE pouring cream over my cobblers... nobody ever understands it, so I'm glad to see someone else likes it :)

  2. This looks so yummy! Makes me wish for the days when my Canadian hubby and I lived in Victoria, B.C. and we could pick buckets of blackberries by the side of the road.

  3. Crumble is one of the greatest English dishes! Whenever my family visits from the US I make it for them with whatever fruit is in season. Freezing last season's blackberries is an excellent idea. Thanks for sharing!

  4. You can't beat a bowl of warm Apple and Blackberry Crumble and custard in the winter. Yours looks so comforting and delish.


  5. MOTH will adore this, a good 'Grumble' is one his most favourite desserts. What a star you are fossicking around the hedgerows picking the berries, you have far more patience than me Marie!
    Millie ^_^

  6. MMMmmm.I just remembered...There are some mixed berries in the freezer! Just maybe I could make a little crumble today...
    Your looks delish!
    xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

    Stop over and enter my GIVEAWAY...!!!!
    If you haven't already,
    would look great in your kitchen!

  7. Oh, this looks wonderful! So do-able with frozen blackberries. I'm sure it is a treasure to have little gems like this stored up in the freezer.

  8. This one looks wonderful Marie. I love to mix berries with apples or pears or whatever else is at hand. The berries here are so pricey (alas, no bushes) but I do love a crisp or cobbler
    xoxo Pattie

  9. Anything you make w/ brown sugar and almonds agrees w/ me:)
    I am grateful for all your recipes~

  10. Oh, Oh, Oh, I do want some!!! I miss blackberries so much. Haven't found any here in my new surroundings. When we lived in Scotland I had every hedgerow and bramble patch in every car park and lane memorized. And the crumbles, pies, jam that I used to make......

  11. Totally delicious, one of my favourite Marie. Lucie x

  12. I'm not sure whether fruit crumble isn't actually best when it;s eaten for breaksfast. Rather like Christmas pud.

  13. Scrumptious... must scrumptious! Such a wonderful flavor pairing--apple & blackberries...mmm.... Happy Day, Marie--LOVE YA ((BIG HUGS))

  14. Oh Yum - again! This looks so tasty, I'm just craving a big hot bowl of the crumble with some good vanilla ice cream melting over the top!!!

  15. Oh. My. Goodness. Now I need, yes NEED to run to the store and purchase some blackberries. Looks HEavenly!

    THanks for the recipe!

    Loving This Mom Stuff

  16. What a great combination! love it!I've been buying frozen mixed berries; that would work

  17. I love crumbles Marie!! and this look absolutely georgeous and the blackberries, so nice!! huggsss
    Im home dear, finally! kisses gloria

  18. OMG everything looks exceptional!!!
    I have joined as a Follower. When I was in London, I thought the food was wonderful, particularly the toffee pudding!

    - The Tablescaper

  19. mm we love crumbles of all kinds - apple, rhubarb, but my favourite has always been blackberry and apple :) i've never tried with almonds in the crumble topping before so will have to try that out!

  20. This is a delectable mix. Glad I found your blog.

  21. tried it, quantities are wrong, please re check.

  22. Dear anonymous, without knowing what you did I cannot really answer you. This recipe worked well for me, as you can see from the pictures. What do you mean the quantities are wrong? I would like to help if I can.

  23. Works brilliantly for me. Best crumble I've had. I had to make a substitution...oatmeal instead of flaked almonds. I imagine it works just as well as it was delicious. Thanks very much. By the way, it goes beautifully with 'Rachel's' coconut yoghurt.

  24. mmmm . . . sounds fabulous Jojo!!

  25. I made this and it was so delicious. I posted about it (and linked to you) on my blog:

    Thank you for the amazing recipe. The butterscotch sauce was a touch of genius.

  26. I was looking for recipes with apples and blueberries and came upon your site. I'm a Canadian (Vancouver) living in france for the past 17 years. I so agree with you, British cuisine is awesome and I have a subscription to Good Food. French people look at me like I'm crazy when I say that. They think their cuisine is the best (well, it IS pretty darn good!)

  27. Just tried this recipe. Modified crumble topping to be nut free and doubled cause my husband loves the topping. So yummy worth the time to make the butterscotch.


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