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Apple and Almond Crumble

This is a moveable feast because absolutely any fruit can be used. I love it with peaches or apricots in summer, in spring it's good with rhubarb, and in autumn I use half blackberries and half apples. Whatever fruit you use, though, the great thing about the topping is that it bakes to a lovely short, crumbly crispness that is almost crunchy.

 
 
 Apple and Almond Crumble

  Serves 6-8

Ingredients
 1 lb 8 oz (700 g) Bramley apples
 8 oz (225 g) Cox's apples
 1 oz (25 g) light brown soft sugar
 1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
 ¼ level teaspoon ground cloves
For the crumble:
 4 oz (110 g) whole almonds, skin on
 3 oz (75 g) chilled butter, cut into small dice
 6 oz (175 g) self-raising flour, sifted
 2 level teaspoons ground cinnamon
 4 oz (110 g) demerara sugar
To serve:
 custard or pouring cream
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
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Equipment

You will also need either an oval ovenproof baking dish measuring 7½ x 11 inches (19 x 28 cm) and 1¾ inches (4.5 cm) deep, or a round ovenproof baking dish with a diameter of 9½ inches (24 cm) and 1¾ inches (4.5 cm) deep.

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two

Method

Begin by preparing the apples. I always find the best way to do this is to cut them first in quarters, then pare off the peel with a potato peeler and slice out the cores. Now cut them into thickish slices and toss them in a bowl with the sugar, cinnamon and ground cloves, then place them in the baking dish and put to one side. Next make the crumble, which couldn't be simpler, as it is all made in a processor.

All you do is place the butter, sifted flour, cinnamon and sugar in the processor and give it a whiz till it resembles crumbs. Next add the almonds and process again, not too fast, until they are fairly finely chopped and there are still a few chunky bits. If you don't have a processor, in a large bowl, rub the butter into the sifted flour until it resembles crumbs, then stir in the cinnamon, sugar and almonds, which should be fairly finely chopped by hand.

Now simply sprinkle the crumble mixture all over the apples, spreading it right up to the edges of the dish, and, using the flat of your hands, press it down quite firmly all over; the more tightly it is packed together the crisper it will be. Then finish off by lightly running a fork all over the surface. Now bake the crumble on the centre shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes, by which time the apples will be soft and the topping golden brown and crisp. Leave it to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving, then serve it warm with custard or pouring cream.

 

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