Found a whole bag of dessert apple in the fridge untouched, so I decided to make something yummy out of them before they go off. An Apple Crumble would be the perfect recipe to use them all up, and since we don't like a tangy pud, the dessert apples will certainly make it yummier for us.
A normal Apple Crumble wouldn't satisfy the lets-complicate-everything me of course. I recalled a recipe that uses both caramel sauce and caramelised fruits, which I think will be perfect for our sweet crumble. Tossed in some bananas and spiced it up with some Winter/ Christmassy fragrance, and it became the best Crumble we ever had!
If you are like us, not too keen in a brilliant crumble ruined by overly acidic fruits, then this is definitely the recipe for you.
If you are replacing the fruits with or are adding tangy fruits, you might want to adjust the amount of sugar used for the crumbs, or keep the liquid I discarded after caramelising the apples (Step 7 in the recipe).
Caramelised Apples and Bananas ingredients:
150g Granulated Sugar
150g Single Cream
6 small/ 4 large Gala Apples (or other sweet dessert apples), peeled, diced and kept in a bowl of water to slow down the browning process
100g Granulated Sugar
1-2 teaspoon Cinnamon/ Mixed Spice
2 Small-Medium sized Ripe Bananas (for the perfect texture, choose ones that has started to show black dots on the skin), leaving them unpeeled until needed
The Caramel Sauce:
1. In a small deep pot, heat the 150g of sugar on a small fire. Stirring continuously and quickly until it turns into a golden liquid (don't wait for too long or it will burn and become bitter).
2. As soon as it's done, pour 1/3 of the cream into the pot (keep stirring). It will bubble like crazy so be very careful and don't burn yourself.
3. When the smoke and bubbles become more manageable, quickly pour the second 1/3 into the pot, then repeat step 2 until all the cream is mixed in.
4. Remove the pot from fire, and keep stirring until the cream is fully combined. Leave it aside to cool.
The Caramelised Apples:
5. Drain the apples.
6. In a frying pan, fry the apples, 100g of sugar and mixed spice together. Keep stirring until the apples has softened and are covered with a thick gloss. The sauce should become sticky and you can start seeing strands of sugar peeling off from the pan.
7. Quickly drain the caramelised apples and discard the liquid.
8. Peel the bananas and slice them into even thickness into the pot of caramel made before, one at a time.
9. Use a large spoon and gently toss the banana slices into the caramel to give them an even coating. This will preserve the bananas' colour, and by not cooking them prior to baking, they won't go all mushy when it's served either.
10. Gently mix the Caramelised bananas and apples together, then cover the bottom of the serving dish with them evenly.
(Half pre-baking the crumbs made sure that the crumbs are still crunchy after baking the Crumble. I learned this from Raymond Blanc on BBC!)
170g Plain Flour
60g Caster Sugar
85g Unsalted Butter, straight from the fridge and cubed
Preheat oven to 170C and line a large baking tray or sheet with greaseproof paper or silicon mat.
1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl, then use a knife to slice the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture become sandy-like. I found this method much easier to do, much less messy and there is a minimal chance you will over-do it until the crumbs become all sticky.
2. Carefully spread it out on the baking tray/ sheet and bake for around 10 minutes until it starts to turn golden. Do not over bake.
3. Remove the baking tray/ sheet from the oven (keep the oven on at 170C if you are serving the crumble straightaway), and use a fork to gently loosen up the crumbs.
4. Carefully pour/ scoop the crumbs over the caramelised apples and bananas.
5. Bake the crumble for around 7 minutes until golden, or cover it with clingfilm and leave it in the fringe until you are ready to serve (then bake for about 10 minutes after preheating the oven).
6. Serve with vanilla ice-cream or warm custard.