I am not embarrassed to admit that I enjoy a Snowball at Christmas, so every year we buy a bottle of Advocaat, and every year I get around to having approximately 1 glass of festive loveliness! The sad side effect is that it has become a new year ritual to throw away the leftover open bottle, and as I have said more than once… I hate waste! In fact I hate waste so much, I have added a new foodie challenge to the list – ‘No waste’!
This year I sat holding the condemned bottle, sadly pondering the need to discard so much festive cheer, and decided to overturn its sentence. I found a recipe for eggnog cake which sorted out half the bottle, and invented my very own Egg(nog) custard tart. It seemed like an exceptionally good idea at the time, however in my desire to not waste a drop, I was rather heavy handed with the Advocaat and it was far too strong to eat. I froze it anyway, hoping it might improve on defrosting and figuring it would do for Sunday teas. I was wrong… it did not improve on defrosting, in fact I am pretty sure that the alcohol had strengthened twofold! In the end I whipped up a batch of vanilla ice cream, chopped up the frozen eggnog tart and the last of the mince pies and chucked them in. I have to admit Eggnog tart and mince pie ice cream is a thing of beauty, and one I am going to have to try and replicate for you at a later date.
The actual point to this story is that I used up my stash of Sunday puddings and was forced, FORCED I tell you, to roll up my sleeves to restock the freezer. I decided to make one of my favourite puds… Apple Crumble.
I love crumble, I have often considered just having the crumble topping, but even I can’t justify that. Instead I double the topping so there is plenty of crumble for every portion, if you are not quite such a crumble fan, you should half the topping quantity. I also like my apple quite sharp, so taste and adjust according to your own tastes.
Cinnamon Apple Crumble
Firstly peel and chop a pile of cooking apples. I ended up with 1kg of prepared apple. As you are peeling and chopping toss the apple in a little water and lemon juice to prevent it from browning. Measure out 100g of granulated sugar and mix in 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger and 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice.
Put the apple, spiced sugar and 100ml of water into a saucepan and cook gently until you reach your desired consistency. I like mainly mushy with some chunks of apple. Taste at this point, and if you prefer it sweeter then mix in additional sugar and cook until its fully dissolved.
Measure out 150g rolled oats, 150g Plain flour, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp mixed spice into a bowl. Mix well then start rubbing in 150g of butter. At this point, realise you have forgotten the 150g golden caster sugar and throw it in. Continue rubbing in until well mixed and the mixture starts clumping together.
Next find a nice big dish and pour in the apple mixture, then sprinkle 100g sultanas over the top, and mix well. Yes it would be far easier to mix the sultanas into the apple first, but I didn’t so I am going to have to go with it and hope you don’t work out I was a muppet!
Sprinkle over the crumble topping and press down lightly. Bake on 170c (fan) for 1 hour or until the top is a nice golden brown. Whilst the crumble is baking, go on a hunt for a missing 500g block of cheese and identify the culprit! Does Maisie look guilty as sin or what!
This made 8 very good sized portions to scale up and down as you see fit. Serve warm with a scoop of homemade ice cream and enjoy!
Cinnamon Apple Crumble
Apple Mixture 1kg peeled and chopped cooking apple 100g granulated sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground ginger 1/2 tsp mixed spice 100ml water Crumble Topping 150g rolled oats 150g plain flour 150g golden caster sugar 150g butter 100g sultanas -Put the apple, sugar, spices and water in a pan and cook gently until soft stirring occasionally. -Mix the flour, oats, spices and sugar in a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture starts clumping together. -Mix the sultanas into the apple mixture, and spread evenly into a large ovenproof dish -Sprinkle over the crumble topping and press down lightly -Bake on 170c fan for about an hour, or until the topping is a nice golden brown.