Apple crumble

Feeling very autumnal in Bath at the moment, which definitely means it’s crumble time. This was a squidgy, spicy, alcoholic, comforting one, which we had with ice-cream. As ever, adapt/ignore any of the extra bits you like…

Plain flour
Brown sugar
Oats (optional)

Apples (4 cooking, or 6/7 braeburn/coxs’s)
Raisins/saltanas/mixed dried fruit
Apple juice/orange juice/water
Orange zest
2-3 balls ginger in syrup
Ground ginger
Cherry brandy
Boiling water

Heat the oven to about 200 degrees.

Put the dried fruit in a bowl and cover with boiling water, and a little slug of brand/cherry brandy, if you like. Leave to plump for 10 mins or so. Peel, core and slice the apples into chunks/slices, and cook gently with a splash of water or juice, and lots of cinnamon and ground ginger, for about 10/15mins until softened but not disintegrating. Cooking apples will take longer than other apples. Zest the orange into the apples, drain the dried fruit (retaining the liquid) and add to the apples. Add a spoonful or two of the soaking liquid if it’s dry, but you don’t want it too soggy. Finely chop 2 or 3 balls of ginger, and stir into the fruit. Spoon into the dish you’re going to use.

Put as much flour/sugar as you would like crumble topping into a bowl, about 2 parts flour to 1 part sugar. If using oats, replace about 1/4 flour with oats. Add cinnamon, and about 1 part butter, in little cubes/spoonfuls. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is somewhere between breadcrumbs and wet sand. Sprinkle over the fruit, and press down until it’s flat-ish and compacted. Bake for about 20mins, until crisp on top with the fruit bubbling up round the edges.

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