I used to find the humble crumble dull until I started dabbling with scented fillings. Then Sundays became more interesting when I introduced the glutinous yet essential accompaniment of both homemade warm custard and pouring cream.
This recipe uses apples and blackberries from my garden – and there still seems to be a healthy supply of both here in Norfolk – but you can use any favourite seasonal fruit or frozen fruit. As you’ll see, the simple twist to this crumble is the addition of a substantial yet not over-powering helping of freshly ground cardamom and some vanilla – either fresh vanilla seeds from the pod or extract will do nicely too. Cardamom is my favourite spice which I use to make curries, chai and even raspberry jam. This particular cardamom was a gift from two good friends who, knowing my addiction, brought me back some organic cardamom from a trip to India.
A few eaters from our garden… the squash doesn’t feature in the recipe but perhaps it should!
300g plain flour, sieved
150g golden caster sugar
200g unsalted butter
350g apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1cm chunks
50g golden caster sugar
8 cardamon pods, remove shell and extract black seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract or half tsp vanilla seeds from a vanilla pod
- Preheat the oven to 180C or Gas mark 4.
- Remove the black seeds from inside the cardamom pods and crush these in into a rough powder, go as fine as you can, with a mestle and morta
- Put the flour and sugar in a large bowl and combine. Add butter (at room temperature) and rub into the flour mixture. Keep rubbing until you get breadcrumbs.
- Place the apple and blackberries in a large bowl and sprinkle over the sugar, ground cardamom seeds and vanilla. Stir well being careful not to break up the fruit.
- Butter a ovenproof dish. Spoon the fruit mixture into the bottom, then sprinkle the crumble mixture on top.
- Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the crumble is browned and the fruit mixture bubbling.
- Serve with both single cream and custard