When apples are plentiful, or you don’t want to (or don’t like) make a traditional Apple Crumble, this makes an extremely satisfying replacement. I have one child who isn’t that fond of traditional apple crumble (she doesn’t like the topping as it is quite thick and can be doughy with the added moisture from the cooking fruit underneath), but she devours this quite happily. What I love about this recipe is that it uses one bowl to mix everything (apples are mixed separately to the streusel topping though), and one dish to bake them in. Saving on washing up = WIN!!
- 1 kilogram (2.5 pounds) apples which hold their shape when cooked (I use any of the following Braeburn, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Mahana Red, Jazz, etc)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup plain flour
- 60gm cold unsalted butter (for my US friends, this is 1/2 stick), cut into small pieces, plus more for coating the dish
If you want to have the caramelised walnuts, you will need
- 70 gm walnut halves (I chop the larger ones, and whole halves into smaller pieces)
- 1/3 C firmpacked brown sugar
Preheat your oven to 180deg C (or 350 deg F for US). Grease a dish about 8″ x 8″ (I use a large pyrex baking dish).
Core and chop your apples. I don’t bother to peel the apples. You can either chop them into 8ths and then each slice into 2, 3 or 4 depending on the size of the apple, or slice the apple into thick-ish slices. It is up to you.
Put the chopped apples into a large bowl. Sprinkle over the white sugar, cinnamon, and half of the salt. Mix well
Pour into the prepared dish and set aside.
This is the point where I toast the walnuts in a dry frypan (on a high heat, tossing often to prevent burning), then add the brown sugar to caramelise them, stirring all the time to coat the nuts.
When the sugar has melted and coated the nuts, remove from heat and sprinkle (using the wooden stirrer as melted sugar will BURN you if you touch it) over the apples.
Wash the frypan immediately otherwise the sugar will set and is very difficult to get off…
In the same dish that you had the apples, mix the brown sugar, flour and butter together with your fingers until the mixture resembles find sand, then add the rolled oats.
Sprinkle this over the apples and walnuts in the oven dish, relatively evenly.
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the top is crisp and browned
Serve with icecream and/or soft whipped cream.
This dessert is also really really good as breakfast the next morning… with or without icecream …