Winter has arrived with full force in Cape Town as our first big cold front hits. Up until now we’ve had a long and beautiful autumn and I’ve loved spending so much time in the vineyards soaking in all the beautiful colours. I decided that this apple and strawberry crumble was perfect for todays stormy weather and I’ve been dying to make it since I first tried it a couple of months back. The strawberries add so much value, and it has officially become my favourite crumble recipe.
Sophie is a cousin of a friend of mine who also happens to be a qualified pastry chef and this is her recipe (more or less). It’s utterly delicious. She served it with a vanilla bean crème anglaise which finished it off perfectly and reminded me how important it is to go the extra mile with what we serve our crumble with. My preference will always be lightly whipped cream with vanilla (Chantilly cream), home-made vanilla ice cream, or crème anglaise.
This recipe is a little extra special because I used unrefined golden caster sugar from Natura. Yes that’s right, we now have a super premium range of amazing naturally produced sugars in South Africa (made in Mauritius) and I could not be happier. Check out their website to see the range and also to see where they are selling the product. If you understand mass sugar production, the molasses is refined out the sugar and then added back. Here they make it keeping everything locked in. Its unbleached, non GM and non irradiated. It tastes like sugar is supposed to taste and the flavours come shining through. Obviously this process is much more labour intensive and time-consuming so the product will be more expensive, but the quality and taste is simply exceptional. I cant wait to play around with all the other variants.
This strawberry and apple crumble has a super crunchy topping and the slivered almonds add extra crispness. As a textural eater this is hugely important to me.
Cooks notes ~ I used frozen strawberries because they are just as good for this purpose and quite convenient to have all year round. Just allow them to thaw first. Cut the apples into whatever size you like, but I like mediums sized chunks so they still hold their bite. The strawberries make a lot of pink syrupy sauce which is delicious. I used Golden Delicious apples.
Recipe – Makes one decent size crumble to serve 6 people
- 350g fresh or frozen strawberries
- 6 apples, peeled, cored and cut into medium & even sized chunks
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 80ml golden caster sugar or regular caster sugar
- 120g butter
- 120g flour
- 120g golden caster sugar
- 50 – 80g sliced almonds (raw)
- 1 cup (250ml) milk
- 1 cup cream
- 1 vanilla pod
- 60g sugar
- 3 free range egg yolks
Pre heat the oven to 180C.
Mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
To make the crumble topping, either do this by hand, or as I do, and whizz it through my food processor. Mix all the crumble ingredients except the nuts together until it looks like a fine crumb. Then using your hands, clump the crumbs together to make bigger bits.
Spread the apple and strawberry filling in an appropriately sized oven proof dish and sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the top. Scatter the almonds and bake for 35 – 40 minutes until the pie is bubbling and the top is golden brown. * If the top is over browning during baking, cover loosely with a piece of tin foil (I pretty much do this with most of my baking.
While the crumble is baking make the crème anglaise:
Beat the egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. About 5 minutes.
Heat the milk, cream and seeds scraped from the vanilla pod in a small heavy based pot until it just starts to bubble around the edges.
While the mixer is still running, slowly pour about half the milk / cream mix into the egg and sugar mix, then add the rest and briefly mix. Pour all of this back into the pot and return to the stove over a low heat. Stirring continuously, cook this custard until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and holds a line when you run your finger through it. As it cools it will thicken more.