A humble little crumble

Yes, crumbles conjure up thoughts of autumn with wafts of cinnamon and lashings of hot custard but here in Stovies’ kitchen they’re a great way of using up fruit when we’ve not been too good at eating our five a day. This recipe is great because everything is done in one dish, meaning less washing up and not much elbow grease. The topping is super crunchy thanks to the oats and the star anise gives a light, aromatic spice to the fruit. In winter though we can’t help but swap it out for a little cockle warming cinnamon. This crumble will easily satisfy six.

For the filling:
10 apples and pears, peeled and cut into chunks
1 handful sultanas
3 tbsp apple juice
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 star anise
1 tbsp golden syrup

For the topping:
100g salted butter
100g light brown sugar
175g plain flour
25g oat bran, if you don’t have oat bran grind some porridge oats in a pestle and mortar
a pinch of salt

Put the sultanas and star anise into the bottom of a baking dish then put the apples and pears on top. Pour over the lemon and apple juice and drizzle the golden syrup over the top. Cover with tinfoil then bake in a medium hot oven – gas 5 – until the apples start to soften, about 20 mins. Stir occasionally. The idea is that as the apples and pears soften the sultanas will plump up with some of the yummy residue.

Mix together the butter, sugar, flour and oats until you have a breadcrumby texture. It doesn’t matter if you have some goops of butter as they’ll melt away. Rubbing in with your hands instead of using a food mixer makes for fewer dishes. Cover the fruit with the crumble topping, it’ll be quite thick – this is good. Put the whole lot back into the over and bake until golden on top, 40 mins should be plenty.

Serve up with your choice of cream, custard or ice cream. And the natural fight over the crispy edge bits of course!

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