WINTER SPICES APPLE CRUMBLE
Every autumn, during the apple-picking season, my mother and I plan a day trip to the countryside. We fill many bags with McIntosh, Lobos, Cortlands etc. We then stop to harvest squash and pumpkins where we look for the ugliest and oddest ones to bring home. We buy a bunch of soft squash cookies from their market and continue our journey to our last stop, a cheese factory in Oka where we buy and eat way too much skouik-skouik aka cheese curds.
Returning home, we crank up the oven and prepare apple crumble. We devour it on the sofa while watching a movie, still piping hot with a big scoop of melting vanilla ice cream on top. This is the only time when it is allowed to eat dessert for supper and for that reason, my favorite day.
In fact, I think it is perfectly acceptable to eat apple crumble at any time of the day. Apples keep for a very long time and local varieties can be found for several months after the season. It is, therefore, a perfect recipe for the winter. I recommend using only one kind of apple so that they cook evenly. Cortland and McIntosh are ideal for making crumble.
WINTER SPICES APPLE CRUMBLE
FOR THE CRUMBLE
105 g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
100g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp each of ground cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom
65 g (1/2 cup) chopped walnuts
120 g (1 1/3 cup) rolled oats
225 g (1/2 cup) cold butter cut into 1cm cubes
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
FOR THE APPLE FILLING
Juice of one lemon
8 apples or enough to fill you baking dish
50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp melted butter
Butter or oil to grease the baking dish
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8-inch square, 9-inch round or 9 x 5-inch rectangular baking dish.
In a bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, salt, spices, walnuts, and oats. Add the butter, maple syrup and vanilla, and using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, mix all the ingredients until you get a crumbly texture. Reserve.
In another bowl, place the lemon juice and, one by one, peel, remove the cores and cut the apples into slices of about 1 cm. Gently toss them to coat them with the lemon juice after each one to prevent browning. Stir in remaining ingredients for the apple layer.
To assemble, transfer the apple mixture to the baking dish and sprinkle the crumble over it. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the crumble is golden. Allow to cool down for 15 minutes before serving.
TIPS AND TRICKS
The crumble can be prepared the day before and kept in the refrigerator. You can also make a double recipe of the crumble and place half in the freezer for up to 3 months to add to muffins, pies or to make another fruit crumble.
You can use all-purpose flour, but feel free to replace some or all of it with whole wheat, rye or gluten-free flour. The sugar can also be replaced by raw cane sugar.
In this version, I chose walnuts, but it would also be delicious with almonds, pecans or any other nuts that you already have in your pantry. For vegans, substitute butter with canola or vegetable oil. You can change some of the apples for pears or even blueberries, raspberries or blackberries.
Hi! I’m Steph. Originally from Montréal, I moved to Toronto in 2015. I spend my days working at the most quaint Swedish coffee shop making cinnamon buns and adding cardamom to everything I bake. In this blog, I want to share with you recipes that remind me of home, travel stories filled with new food discoveries and the restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries I love to visit most in my new city.