Apple & Cranberry Crumble: Leftover Edition
Name me someone who doesn't like crumble. And if you are one of them, then this is not the blog for you (but seriously who doesn't like crumble?) Crumble is a very nostalgic thing for me; it takes me back to sitting in my grandmother's conservatory, full from a roast but always left with enough room for a bowl of steaming hot crumble with custard and ice cream (yes, I was one of those kids). What kind of crumble you ask? It was truly dependant on the fruit she harvested from her garden that week: apples, pears, rhubarb, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries. My grandmother's crumble was the perfect way to stew her fruits down into something delicious each week and finding a special comfort in enjoying it with the family. That is what food is about.
I wish I could say that the apples and pears that are softening in my fruit bowl are ones that I sourced myself but sadly I did no more than to source them from the local supermarket. Nevertheless, I need to use them, and use them fast because they look as though they could do with a little bit of love and care. Moving into the New Year, I never quite start it fresh. I can never seem to shift the influx of festive food before the start of a new year and I can never bring myself to throw it away. Ironically, a lot of people choose to "lose the pounds" post Christmas but how is that possible when you still have boxes of mince pies in your cupboard?
So what would happen if you were to crumble up the mince pies and make it into a crumble... now bare with me here. A silky apple and pear compote, a golden crumbly crust with a hint of festivity, soaked in a generous serving of hot custard (and a dollop cool smooth ice cream if you're anything like me). I mean, yes please!
This recipe uses my leftover fruit and mince pies, but you could switch out several things there! Like I said above, use whatever fruits you have, stew them down! Crumble is great for stewing down large quantities of fruit that you might have. In terms of the crumble, you could crumble in broken biscuits from the bottom on the biscuit tin, any other festive treats like lebkuchen or stollen would be nice crumbled in! Oooo and if you have any gingerbread left anywhere from any festive house constructing of such, then put into a bag and crush to a crumb using a rolling pin. That would be so yummy with apples!
- 120g plain flour
- 60g caster sugar
- 60g butter
- 3x mince pies
- 3 apples
- 3 pears
- 1 tbsp apple sauce
- 1/2 cup golden caster sugar
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 nutmeg, finely grated (or 1 tsp ground nutmeg)
- 150g fresh cranberries (optional)
Begin by peeling your apples and pears and remove any cores and pips. I quartered the pears and chopped the apples into smaller chunks. Put the chunks in a shallow frying pan with the sugars, apple sauce, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook gently on a medium heat. Whilst it begins to simmer, prepare your cranberries. Just due to personal preference to mix up textures I decided to leave some cranberries whole and cut half of the cranberries in half. Then add to the simmering pan. The pan may appear to look dry but the juices from the fruits will soon run making it moist and juicy. Leave the pan on medium heat, turning and stirring to avoid it burning on the bottom of the pan and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or so. Once the mixture has reduced and is a thick syrupy consistency, remove from the heat and pour into your crumble pot.
To make the crumble, simply put your weighed butter, flour and sugar into a bowl. Make sure your butter is fresh out of the fridge so it is cold enough to crumble the mixture. Using the tips of your fingers, pinch and squeeze everything together so that you form a ball. Crush the ball to make crumbs. Do this a few times until you have a nice and even crumbly mixture. Then simply crush your mince pies into the mixture, trying to evenly distribute it amongst the crumbs.
Sprinkle your crumble topping on the apple and cranberry mixture and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. It should come out golden and bubbling. And it makes your kitchen smell.... mighty.
When the weather is cold, there isn't anything much better than a cosy crumble after dinner. And you really don't need to go all out here, just a simple dribble of cream would be just as scrumptious. And it's so scrumptious that as I've written this recipe, I've finished my crumble that I said I would only have one helping of, but life is too short and I need another. Please excuse me!
I would love to know what your favourite winter desserts are?
Thank you for reading,
Gina ~ The Noo Noo Project