Trying to maintain the seasonal food theme, here's a way of creating a particularly rich version of this great British classic. Bramley's are by far the best cooking apples in my opinion, and of course are abundant at this time of the year!
6 large Bramley apples, peeled, cored and diced (but not too finely)
225 g unsalted butter
light brown soft sugar to taste
a cinnamon stick
2 star anise
120 g plain flour
zest of half un-waxed lemon
zest of half un-waxed orange
40 g ground almonds
40 g nibbed almonds (skinned almonds cut into small cubes, and toasted)
60 g muscovado sugar
to serve (optional)
1 Bramley apple
In a heavy bottomed pan saute the peeled and diced bramleys in half the butter over a moderate heat. Add the light brown soft sugar, cinnamon stick and star anise, and cook for around 13 minutes until the apples are caramelised and soft. Now set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 190 C.
For the crumble begin by putting the flour and the remaining butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively for those that prefer the more traditional method of making crumble, sift the flour into a large bowl and lightly rub in the butter with your fingertips.
Regardless of the method used, when the mix reaches the "breadcrumb" stage stir in the lemon and orange zest, the nibbed and ground almonds and the muscavado sugar. Mix well.
Here's the unusual bit! Spread the crumble on a baking tray and cook in the over for 10 minutes, move it around once in the cooking process with a fork. Now place the sauteed apples (remove cinnamon and star anise) into an ovenproof dish and cover with the partially cooked crumble. Cook for a further 15 minutes in the oven.
Serving the crumble with slices of caramelised apple add a visual appeal as well as an additional textural and taste experience. Firstly make a sugar syrup from sugar and water reducing it down until the water evaporates leaving a syrupy consistency. Very finely slice across the apple and carefully dip into the sugar syrup placing on a wire rack. Allow to dry out for a few minutes before placing under a medium grill, and grill each side until caramelised.
Serve each portion of the crumble with a couple of apple slices and warm fresh custard!
A great way to finish a dinner party, or roast pork on a Sunday lunch!