Apple and blackberry crumble pie

I am fully in Autumn/Winter baking mode now, and as far as I’m concerned nothing signifies the end of summer and start of autumn more than blackberries.

This pie is adapted from a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe for the Guardian, which was about pairing the last of the summer’s produce with the start of the autumn’s, and used raspberries with the apples. He must be living in some strange micro-climate as raspberries were long gone around here when it was published!

Luckily the blackberries were still ripe for picking, and are a classic partner for apple. I pretty much followed the recipe to the letter, but I found Hugh’s quantities for both the pastry and the crumble were far too much, you could probably make 3/4 of the pastry and 2/3 of the crumble and still have some to spare.

Although I made this mainly for the pony to have for breakfast, I think it’s a perfect dessert for chilly evenings, served hot with a big dollop of custard. Which is probably why winter makes me fat…

Apple and blackberry crumble pie (adapted from The Guardian)

For the pastry:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 35g icing sugar
  • 125g butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the filling:

  • 6 medium apples (about 750g), peeled and cored
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 225g raspberries

For the crumble:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 75g butter
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 50g rolled oats

To make the pastry, stir together the flour and icing sugar the rub in the butter with your fingertips, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, cutting through the mixture with a butter knife, then add a little cold water, a tiny bit at a time, until the mixture starts to come together and can be pressed into a dough. Wrap the ball of dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes, then roll out and use to line a 10″ flan tin. Bake blind for 10 minutes at 180 degrees, then remove baking beans and paper and bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

For the filling, quarter and slice the apples, then heat in a heavy based saucepan for about 5 minutes, or until starting to soften. Hugh FW uses butter for this, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Add the brown sugar and leave on the heat just until the apples are starting to caramelise, then transfer into the baked pie case. Scatter the blackberries on top.

For the crumble, rub the butter into the flour then stir in the sugar and oats. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the fruit, clumping some of it together a bit, then return the pie to the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the crumble is golden and the fruit juices are bubbling. Remove from the tin and serve while warm.


Chocolate ginger crumble cake

I’ve always liked ginger, but at the minute I LOVE ginger. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been making gingerbread in September and doing excess amounts of raw dough taste-testing, or just because its warming spice feels right for Autumn, but right now I’m all about the ginger.

This recipe is from my oldest and best loved cookbook, Chocolate by Joanna Farrow. I made this before, years ago, and wanted to try it out again in the hope that it was as good as I remembered.

Luckily, it was! I was a bit concerned when I took it out of the tin, as it looked a bit flat and hard, but the key to this is eating it warm – the chocolate melts and the ginger flavour really comes through – delicious!

Unfortunately in the time it’s taken to get around to blogging this the cake has been eaten, which is a shame as I’m really craving some more chocolate and ginger. Guess I’ll just have to bake something else…

Chocolate ginger crumble cake (from Joanna Farrow’s Chocolate)

  • 250g butter
  • 375g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 200g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 125g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 25g stem ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar

Add the butter into a bowl with the flour and baking powder and run together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the caster sugar, then weigh 250g of the mixture into a separate bowl and set aside. Ass the egg, vanilla and mixed spice to the remaining mixture and stir until it comes together, then press into the bottom of a greased and lined 9″ round tin.

Scatter the chocolate over the base, mix the ginger into the crumble mixture you set aside earlier, and sprinkle over the chocolate. Bake at 180 degrees for 50 minutes – 1 hour, until the crumble is golden. Serve warm, with cream or ice cream.

Strawberry and blueberry crumbles for two

I am literally obsessed with bargain shopping.

I used to stick to the ‘it’s only a good deal if you really need it’ motto, but not anything and everything that has a reduction sticker on it goes into the shopping trolley.

So naturally, when I found a punnet of blueberries originally £4 for 65p, and strawberries originally £1.50 for 55p, I couldn’t resist.

For the most part they were perfectly fine to just eat fresh, but a few of the strawberries were starting to look a little past their best, so I decided to whip up a couple of quick, individual crumbles for a really easy weeknight dessert.

This is so ridiculously easy that it may become a bit of a regular habit whenever I see bargain fruits, particularly when it’s as miserable and rainy as it has been this week…

Strawberry and blueberry crumbles for two

  • 125g strawberries
  • 100g blueberries
  • 15g butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 15g demerera sugar
  • 15g rolled oats

Hull and quarter the strawberries, then mix with the blueberries and divide between two small ramekins. Rub together the butter and flour to form a rough breadcrumb-like mix, then stir in the sugar and oats and sprinkle on top of the fruit. Bake at 180 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until the crumble is golden and the juice is bubbling up at the sides. We had ours with custard but ice cream would be delicious too!

Jam crumble bars

I’m always on the lookout for things that are quick, cheap and keep and transport well for the friendly pony to take to work, and as soon as I saw these bars on 17 and Baking I knew they would be perfect.

The same mixture makes the base and the topping so they’re super quick to whip up, and all the ingredients are things I usually have on hand, plus the flavour can be adapted to whatever jam or fruit you need to use up.

I used a mix of blackcurrant and the last of my homemade raspberry rose jam, with a handful of frozen berries thrown on top which turned out great, and was a nice change from all the chocolate baking I’ve been doing lately!

Jam crumble bars (adapted from 17 and Baking)

Makes 8 large bars

  • 150g plain flour
  • 70g light brown sugar
  • 140g butter
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 150g oats
  • 250g jam
  • handful frozen berries (optional)

Mix the flour and sugar in a food processor, then add in the butter and mix until it forms bread crumbs. Transfer into a bowl and stir in the oats, then add the milk and bring together with your hands into a dough. Press about 3/4 of the mix into an 8×8 square tin, lined with foil.

Spread the jam on top of the base, heating a little in the microwave if it’s too thick to spread easily. Add the berries on top if using. Sprinkle the rest of the oat mixture on top, then bake at 190 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until golden. Leave to cool before slicing into bars.

Blackberry crumble cheesecake

This cheesecake was inspired by one of the same name by John Torrode, but I think it’s safe to say I made enough changes to call it my own.

I took the base of this cheesecake, as the comments on the original said it had a bit too much butter. I then decided to use this recipe for the filling, as I’d been wanting to try it for a while (to see if a low calorie cheesecake can really be as good as the full fat version).

I planned to use the topping of the original crumble cheesecake, but I didn’t like the fact that I’d have less control over how long to bake the cheesecake – if the crumble wasn’t browned I’d have to leave it in, even if the cheesecake was ready to come out.

For that reason, I followed the method of the Angela Nilsen recipe (ish) and made a separate crumble mixture and berry mixture to go on top once it was cooked.

I won’t lie, there’s quite a lot of faffing around with the way I made this, but it was well worth the effort. My only complaint is that the base went a bit soggy, and I’m not quite sure why – any suggestions?

I made this for my colleague Ryan’s last day at work before moving to Wales – he was very pleased!

Blackberry crumble cheesecake

For the base:

  • 140g digestive biscuits
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 85ml melted butter

Blitz the biscuits and sugar in a food processor until they’re in fine crumbs (or alternatively crush with a rolling pin). Gradually add in the melted butter, then press into a 9″ round springform tin. My top tip for cheesecakes is if your in has a lip around the edge of the base like mine, turn it upside down – it will make it a million times easier to get the cheesecake off later!

Bake for 10 minutes at 180 degrees, then leave to cool while you make the filling.

For the filling:

  • 300g light Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3tbsp cornflour
  • zes and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1tsp vanilla extrract
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g light fromage frais
  • 100g fresh blackberries

Beat together the cream cheese, sugar and cornflour until well mixed and no lumps remain. Add in the lemon zest, juice and the vanilla extract, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the fromage frais, then the blackberries, then pour onto the base and bake for 10 minutes at 220 degrees.

After the 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 110 degrees and bake for a further 35 minutes. Leave in the oven overnight if possible, or at least 2 hours. This helps to stop it cracking, and I also bake my cheesecakes with a baking tray with 1cm hot water in it to create steam, for the same reason (look, it works!)

For the topping:

  • 125g blackberries
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 100g flour
  • 50g butter
  • 50g demerara sugar

Heat the caster sugar with 3-4tbsp water in a saucepan. When it is boiling, add in the blackberries and cook until thick and syrupy, but with whole berries remaining.

Rub together the butter and flour to make coarse breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar. Spread the mixture onto a baking tray and cook for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees, taking out every five minutes to mix up with a fork.

Spread the berry mix over the cheesecake, then sprinkle the crumble mix on top. Chill in the fridge overnight, then serve.

Apple and raspberry crumble

Basically, this is exactly what it says, a delicious fruit crumble. No story behind it, just a crazing for hot fruitiness.

But simple is in no way a bad thing, and this crumble really did have super tastes.

I didn’t follow a recipe, so this is more of a rambling than a proper recipe post.

The fruit part is 3 medium sized cooking apples and half a pack of frozen raspberries, maybe 125g, in a medium sized baking dish.

Sprinkled on top of this is 50g caster sugar, and a bit of lemon juice to keep the apples from browning.

The topping is 50g butter, 100g plain flour, 50g demerara sugar and 50g porridge oats. Rub the butter and flour together until it turns into a breadcrumb consistency, then stir in the sugar and oats.

Scatter the topping all over the fruit, then bake at 200 degrees for about an hour (I covered it over with foil part way through to stop it getting too brown on top). You know it’s ready when the bright pink juices are bubbling out around the edges – and it smells amazing!

Serve with custard, cream or ice cream, any would go well!