Apple, blackberry and Cardamom Crumble

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!


Crumble ingredients:

300g plain flour, sieved

150g golden caster sugar

200g unsalted butter


Filling ingredients:

350g apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1cm chunks

100g blackberries

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



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