Sunday, July 25, 2010

Winter Comfort Food: Apple Crumble

Posted by Quinn at Sunday, July 25, 2010

My life, it's been pretty interesting...I went over to see Aaron in Perth and spent 4 days there...He is not coming back to Adelaide end of this month. He is in Dubai now, and will be there for 2 months or so. I've came to knew about this a while back but just needed more time for myself...But, it's all good now....I flew to Perth on the 16th and came back to Adelaide on the 19th. As if that is not enough, I hop on the plane again on the 20th for my sister's graduation in Brisbane. It's a last minute decision but you only live once so do what the heart says. I hate procrastinating. My folks and my youngest sis came over too and it was a good surprise for my folks....shocked because they didn't expect to see me there but like I said, it's a good surprise... Love the family reunion! Just got back yesterday and am loving every single quiet moments alone here....

Also, before I forget, my manual generator picked Drew as the winner for the CSN Giveaway. Congratulations Drew and sorry to the rest. Like I said previously, I sincerely do hope I can pick all of you. Drew, we felt you're the one that needed it the most because you're giving and not just taking, to not only your child but many other children as well and the GC would be in good use by you. We've both had a friend's friend whom is an autistic as well and it really isn't easy to cope with. Good luck and thanks for participating!

It's getting colder now and I couldn't think of anything else that is more comforting than apple crumble. Apple crumble, my kind of comfort food....I had this for lunch and I cannot tell you how easy it is to make apple crumble. Seriously, anyone who can't bake or never make desserts before can make apple crumble. Bought a bag of apples for charity only to realise 20cents out of the 4 dollars bag will be donated to McGrath Foundation. I know apples are good for you but I can't bring myself to eat them. I don't like munching on them raw. I like cooked fruits. They taste better, so I couldn't help but make crumble, something so classical, so comforting and perfect in a bowl that fits perfectly in my hand and I dig in with a spoon, sit on my couch and watch Masterchef....That is the most comforting thing to me right now.... So here, I have used Pink Lady. Why use Granny Smith when you need to use more sugar to reduce the tartness?

My apples were really small, weighing 80g in average. So I've used two of them here. Feel free to use one large apple if you wish. Note, this makes enough to serve two for dessert. I only cook for myself and my only other housemate, that's why.

Peel the apples and remove the cores and diced them smallish. Toss in 1/2 tbsp castor sugar, 1 tbsp Sultanas and a pinch of cinnamon.

Toss them around and combine them really well. Place them into 2 small serving bowls or ramekins. I love these new ramekins bowls of mine, just 2 dollars each, it's microwave, dishwasher and oven safe. Go look in antique shops, you never know what special things you'll find in there.

I don't cook my apples or poached them before hand. I know some recipes ask you to do so but trust me on this one, you don't need to. Also, don't use those canned apples. Seriously, how much can apples cost and they just don't taste the same if you use canned apples. This is simplicity at its taste, you don't wanna skimp on ingredients.

Another bowl, 2 tbsp plain flour or wholemeal flour or even self-raising flour if that's what you have. It doesn't matter, see how forgiving it is??? Chop in say 20g of butter. I know....looks like a lot of butter for that amount of flour but wait and see...besides, too much butter can do no harm, it just makes everyone happier :)

Use fork, potato masher or fingers but don't use a food processor just for this tiny weeny amount. You'll wash more stuffs and what's the point? We wanna go all rustic and whatever that can be done by hand, we do it. It's therapeutic, remember? That's about how you crumble and you stop.

Now, you toss in 1.5 tbsp dark brown sugar, 2 tbsp rolled oats and 2 tbsp crumbled walnuts. Mix and toss them really well. Scatter them on top of the apples and don't press them, just scatter and cover the top completely.

That's about how it should look like. I love them, they smell great at this point already. Did I also mention, you need to crank up your oven to 180°C and let it heat up until you need it.

I am already loving how this look before baking, I dare not imagine after baking! Seriously, apple crumble is so versatile, you don't have to use walnuts and rolled oats if you don't want to. You can use nutmeg, dessicated coconuts or even almond meal, your choice. Just play around with flavours. Sometimes I do apple and berry crumble if I have that in hand. Bake the apple crumble for 15- 20mins until the toppings are golden brown....

There. Beautiful looking and they shrink a little bit after cooking. It's perfect because there's enough room for just a beautiful scoop of vanilla ice cream to sit on top.

And so you scoop a large dollop of vanilla ice cream on top of each crumble and you serve it warm.... The cold ice cream and the warm apple crumble when eaten together, is absolutely fantastic and absolutely divine.

The vanilla ice cream is adapted from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros. Call me a Tessa Kiros freak if you like. The recipe uses whole egg instead of just egg yolks. So rich and creamy I would never wanna make any other ice cream. And very simple too....

A little bit of everything eaten every mouthful, isn't this your perfect comfort food? See the picture below.The apples when macerated with the sugar and cooked in the oven will draw out natural juices from the apples, so sweet and syrupy and you get the hint of cinnamon after that.

You really don't need to poach it. The apples now are just firm and holds its shape, not mushy but when you bite into it, it just breaks up nicely. Love Pink Lady apples, they don't have this powdery feeling to your mouth after being turned into mush. Some apples do.

Apple crumble, if the pictures here do not lure or prompt you to make some, I don't know what else could. And you might be really busy from now on because all they ask for dessert from now on will be nothing else but these apple crumble all the time, trust me!

p/s: Jess and Edith, I've picked up the awards meant for me. If you're reading this, a million thanks to you guys again for thinking I'm worth it!

Jess@Bakericious passed me the 'Stylish Blogger Award' and ' A Blog with Substance Award' to me.

Edith@PreciousMoments passed me the 'Sunshine Award'. Jess and Edith, I think I'll make this a leaf node in the tags spanning across the blogosphere. In a quick 5 mins Google, it looks like most bloggers that I have known and those that I have not already known have already been tagged, and I'm not going to spread the contagion outside the organization further :)

Good night....

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9 comments on "Winter Comfort Food: Apple Crumble"

Ju (The Little Teochew) on July 26, 2010 at 12:47 AM said...

I hope you have been well, Quinn. I love your apple crumble. They look so easy to make and I can just imagine how good they taste with that vanilla ice-cream. I'm also a Tessa Kiros freak ... Apples for Jam is one of my all-time favourite books. I wanna try both the apple crumble and vanilla ice-cream recipes!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi on July 26, 2010 at 2:24 AM said...

Quinn, I always admire your efficiency in getting a post written up fast. =)

It's been a long, long time since I had apple crumble. Back in the States, I preferred to use Golden Delicious for my bakes. In Malaysia, I've got no choice but to use Granny Smiths as we have less choice here. It's not that I don't wanna try out different varieties of apples.

Haha! While most of the Northern Hemisphere bloggers talk about summery foods, you're sharing with us something wintery. Well, back in the States, apple-ish desserts usually come in the fall, not winter though. In the winter, I'd usually have something pumpkin/squash, chocolate, peanut butter.

Hey, take enough rest, K? I know it's been tiring for you. Glad to hear you had another family reunion again since your Commencement Day. Congrats to sis, too!

P.S. Don't think too much about we talked about the other day. I know you're trying to wake me up. I'll look at the deal in wholly different light. But then, like I said before, I'm still the kind of person who believes in fate. What's meant for me, they'll naturally come to me or I'll be on the lookout for them; otherwise, what's not meant for me, they won't come to me nor will I go approach them. I'll accept that it's a fact that these things don't belong to me. In a stressful life like what I'm having now, it's always nice to give myself a hope by having something to look forward to, instead of living in the dark for the rest of my life -- even though I may look naive/foolish. Just let it be, I may look stupid that way. But, I'm contented. Don't take it to heart, K? I can be stubborn, I know. But, I've always been respecting you.

So long, take care! Hope to see you again. You've been an inspiration to me since I got to know you.

pigpigscorner on July 26, 2010 at 2:47 AM said...

It's always sad to hear that your other half is going away for some time =(

Your apple crumble looks so yummy! esp with the huge ball of ice-cream on top.

Elin on July 26, 2010 at 2:14 PM said...

Quinn...looking at your apple crumble...salivating already :p
Thanks for reminding me how delicious they are....mmmmm yumm yumm

Food For Tots on July 28, 2010 at 2:54 AM said...

Haven't made it for quite a while. Yours looks so beautiful and delish! Love the big scoop of ice cream on top of the crumble! That's how we enjoyed ours.

Anonymous said...

Love your pictures and the crumbles! They are beautiful.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more on July 28, 2010 at 5:48 PM said...

Anything baked with apples melt me, don't know why.
But if you asked me to eat a fresh apple to drink apple juice, I might ask it if there are any other fruits to choose from.

zurin on July 28, 2010 at 6:44 PM said...

I cant believ i missed this post. I love fruit crumbles n it looks like my kind with the big fat scoop of ice cream on top. Glad u had the reunion with your family :))

Quinn on August 5, 2010 at 11:39 PM said...

Ju: Thanks, I'm doing great! Yes, Apples for Jam is a good book especially if you're cooking for kids. Falling Cloudberries is my favourite of the lot because the cooking style and technique suits me and there's not a lot of ingredients needed to whip up simple comfort food.

Pei-Lin: Pretty sure they have red delicious apple in Malaysia. Seen them so many times, else you could use Fuji Apples too! I guess that day was a bad day to talk, we both were tired, couldn't remember now :)

Ann: Adjusting and getting used to it now, thanks though!

Food for Tots: Yes, I felt the ice cream was there to complete it. Every mouthful of warm and cold eaten together was so satisfying!

Ellie: Thanks, what's mine compared to yours, both in terms of photography and cooking skills!

Wendy: Haha, I know you're an apple person. I can't wait to try out your apple sponge cake! I basically love all sorts of fruits, cooked!

Zurin: Thanks Zu, it's always pleasing to hear what you have to say. Love the reunion, thanks!

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