Toffee Apple Crumble

Sunday 6 October 2013

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When there are just two of you living in a house, dessert isn't something you make very often.  At least that is the way it works for me.  It usually doesn't all get eaten and if I haven't been able to give it away, then it gets thrown out.  So normally I only do dessert when we have company.    

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I had some bramley cooking apples that someone had given us that I wanted to use and I found this crumble recipe on the BBC food page, which looked good, but it made far too much.  I liked the premise of  a crumble using sultanas and dates though, so I kept those and added Calvados instead of rum, because I always have Calvados in my larder, but never rum.  

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I also cut the quanitities down by a half more or less and added my own version of a crumble topping as I really like mine, but am not overly fond of the one that most desserts use over here.  I'm sorry, you can take the North American out of North America, but not the North America out of the North American!   There will always be some things I think we do better.  

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The end result was a perfectly sized crumble for two people.  A bit of indulgence, without having all of those leftovers to tempt you into digging in again and again . . .   

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Because dates and sultanas are naturally sweet, you don't need to use as much sugar as you normally would in a crumble filling, and their caramel like sweetness goes very well with the tartness of the Bramley apples.    

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Bramley apples break down so nicely in crumbles I think.  Fluffy and tart.  I like that.   The topping of course it's crowning glory.   Enjoy!  (OF course if there are more than two of you, the recipe can easily be increased !) 

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*Toffee Apple Crumble for Two*
Serves two generously
but can be easily multiplied to serve more

A tasty two person sized crumble filled with lots of apple, sultanas, and dates.   Reminiscent of a sticky toffee pudding in a way, but extra fruity and with a moreishly buttery crisp topping!    

50g sultanas (1/3 cup)
50g soft pitted dates, cut into bits (1/3 cup)
50g soft light brown muscovado sugar (1/4 cup)
1 1/2 TBS calvados
2 TBS butter
1/2 tsp mixed spice
the juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
2 Bramley apples (about 400g or about 1 pound) peeled, cored and
cut into thin slices

For the topping:
4 TBS butter
4 1/2 TBS soft light muscovado sugar
9 TBS plain flour
9 TBS rolled oats
2 TBS flaked almonds
pinch salt  

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Place the sultanas, dates, sugar, calvados, butter and mixed spice into a bowl.  Stir and then heat in the microwave for about a minute and a half until the butter is melted and the sugar is syrupy.  Toss in the apple slices and lemon juice.  Spread into a small (about 4 cup) buttered casserole dish, taking care that the dried fruit is scattered throughout the apples.

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  
Measure the flour, oats and sugar into a bowl along with the salt.   Mix well.  Drop in the butter and rub it together with your finger tips until crumbly.  Stir in the almonds.  Sprinkle this mixture over top of the apples evely.  Cover with aluminium foil.  Bake in the heated oven for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown.

Serve warm with ice cream, custard or pouring cream.


  1. Good morning, Marie!The crumble looks interesting.This kind of desert is not common here.Last August I made a plum crumble from your recipes and it was very good I have to say.
    Yesterday I made your ginger loaf and dressed it with a white chocolate frosting! Delicious!
    Always great recipes from you!
    Thank you1 Have a great Sunday!

  2. Helen, it always makes me smile when I see you comment!! I am glad you enjoyed the ginger loaf! You are a dear friend to let me know! xxoo

  3. So cozy..we always enjoy a good crumble:-)

  4. Crumble is my go to dessert. Being only two in our household, I've been cutting recipes in half when it comes to desserts.

  5. Another delicious and well timed post. I've just picked a big basket of apples today and we have guests coming tomorrow, so I think this will be on the menu!

    I've noticed a difference in toppins of crumbles depending on the country of origin as well. They are popular in Sweden where they are called "smulpaj" literally meaning "crumb pie", but their recipes have more fat in them than the English ones, which sometimes I find a bit dry and too crumbly.

    I admit that I get mixed up with North American cooking terms as in Australia we were brought up with British terms. Recently when I wanted to make a peach and raspberry cobbler like my gran used to make, the American recipes were all what I'd call a crumble. I wanted a recipe with a batter that you topped with fruit and baked, not fruit topped with a oat/butter/sugar/flour mixture. Fussy, aren't I?

  6. Mmmm, that looks scrumptious. I would probably end up eating ti for breakfast! You and your English pouring cream over everything... You've ruined me!! :)

  7. My hens love it when I make dessert cause they know that the 2 of us are not going to eat it all either!

  8. This looks so good - apple crumble is one of my favourites so it can only be improved by adding in toffee! Thanks for sharing Marie x

  9. Your recipe looks very tasty I am going to have a go at making it. I love your posts, please feel free to visit my blog in the orchard. Thank you


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