Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble

First post and first pie!

I woke up this morning with a huge craving for apple pie. Maybe it’s due to the weather (crisp mornings and rainy afternoons, for those not living in the Northeast of England) or the leaves turning different colours, or the abundance of apples in the food markets—I don't know, it doesn’t matter—I wanted pie.

Now, I know there are hundreds, if not thousands of apple pie recipes out there. However, over the years, having tried many combinations of recipes, I finally created one that was perfect. I promise you mine is easy and delicious. You have to try it!

Just a quick note before I dive right in—rather than make my own crust, which would be a pain seeing as I don’t have a food processor, I went the easy route and bought ready-made shortcrust pastry (I know, I know, shameful). 

Moving on.

Now, the secret to a crispy, non-soggy crust is Blind Baking. For those who are not familiar with this concept, you partially bake the crust before adding your filling—and yes, it is as easy as it sounds. 


Apple Crumble
 Makes a 9 inch pie

1 9 Inch pie pan
1 Pot
Pie Weights (or dried beans)
Measuring Spoons
Big bowl
Wax paper

1 Jus Rol Short crust sheet (leave to stand in room temperature 45 minutes before using)

Apple Filling
4 Apples of your choice (I used Braeburn)
1 ¼ cup Sugar
¼ cup Lime juice
2 tbsp Water
3 tbsp Cornstarch (corn flour for the Brits)

Crumble Topping
1 ¼ cups All Purpose Flour
½  cup Brown Sugar
1 ½  tsp Ground Cinnamon
¼  tsp Ground Nutmeg
¼  tsp Salt
½  cup Unsalted Butter, melted 


Bake the crust

  • Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius (425 degrees Fahrenheit). Remove your pastry crust, unroll it, and carefully place it into your pie plate. Gently ease the dough onto the plate, and mold it to the form, using your index finger knuckle (trust me and use your knuckle, NOT your fingers—especially not if you have nails as it will cause tearing of the dough). If any of the dough rips, DON’T FRET just press it back together. Once you have done this, use a fork and poke little holes into the dough; don’t forget to do the sides as well. Trim any of the dough that is overhanging.

  • Place a sheet of wax paper over the dough and place your weight of choice over it. I usually use beans, but today I used yellow split peas because they were the only thing I had laying around. The important thing is to use a weight. Make sure the beans/peas/rice/weights have covered the bottom of the pie evenly.

  • Place your pie crust in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. When the time is up, remove the peas, and bake again for another 5 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are a golden brown. When ready, remove from the oven and let cool. Blind Baking is OVER.

In the meantime, lower the heat to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) and preheat the oven.

Prepare your filling

As your crust is baking you should begin to prepare your filling.
  • Peel, core, and slice the apples. I prefer large apple chunks, but, to each his own.
  • Next, add the apples and your sugar in a pot. Over medium heat (I had my stove top on 4), stir until the sugar dissolves into a syrupy mixture. Meanwhile, combine water, lime juice, and corn starch (TIP: always add liquid to the cornstarch, not the other way around). When the apples start to soften, lower your heat, and add the cornstarch mixture to your pot. When the filling thickens and begins to bubble, remove from the heat and let it cool.

Prepare your crumble

Crumble is by far the easiest and tastiest pie topping—in my opinion anyway. You can always buy the ready-made crumble Tesco sells, but honestly, it’s so easy to make, there is no reason to not make it yourself.
  • In bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Melt your butter and quickly pour it over your mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until mixture is combined and moist crumbs form.

Bake your pie
  • By now the crust and filling should be cooled. Pour your filling onto your dough. Sprinkle the crumble over filling until the whole pie is covered.

  • Place pie in your pre-heated oven and bake for 45-55 minutes.
  • Remove and let it cool. DO NOT try a cut a piece of pie before letting it cool. You do not want a soupy pie. TRUST.

And that's it. Easy peasy apple crumble. I would take a picture of a slice for all of you, but my pie is still cooling. Instead, I'll leave you with a picture of my very messy kitchen. Sigh.

Hope you have enjoyed the recipe. Stay tuned for the next post, where I will be discussing Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South.