Crumble (also called Brown Betty) is a traditional English desert. The original version is made with apples (apple crumble) but my version celebrates the range of orchard fruits that can be found in the UK and in other countries throughout the world. Crumble can be made sweet or savoury depending on the ingredients used, although the sweet version is much more common. In some recipes the topping is made from crumbled biscuits or cookies. Oats can be added to the topping as well, but this is not traditional. Crumbles have only really been made in UK since the 1940's.
This recipe came into existence during the second world war. In the UK there was strict rationing of basic ingredients needed to create a basic pie and these were often not available. A pie requires a lot of flour, sugar and butter to make the pastry. So during the 2nd World War people had to be creative and made a simple mixture of flour, margarine and sugar and used this to make the top of the crumble. This is a lovely easy-to-make desert that can be served with ice cream, custard or just on its own.
2 ripe apples chopped into small pieces
2 ripe pears chopped into small pieces
½ cup of ripe black berries
½ cup of ripe raspberries
5 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons wholemeal flour
1 tablespoon vegan margarine
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
5 digestive biscuits (can also use graham crackers)
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
2. In a saucepan, over a gentle-moderate heat, cook the apples and pears in the water until soft and stewed.
3. Keep stirring to prevent from sticking to the bottom of pan.
4. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, rub together the margarine and flour with your fingertips until it completely blends together and you get a fine crumble.
5. Add the 2 tablespoons of the sugar and digestive biscuits (or graham crackers) and stir the mixture well.
6. When the apples and pears are stewed, add the leftover tablespoons of the sugar and the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and stir in until the sugar dissolves.
7. Put the apple and pear, mixture in a bowl and stir in the blackberries and raspberries then place in an ovenproof dish and cover with the crumble topping mixture
8. Bake for approximately half an hour or until the crumble is golden brown.
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