2014 is set to be a scary but exciting year for me, with lots of changes on the horizon. I am reluctant to say too much at the moment for fear of it all going the proverbial tits up but I can tell you that these plans may possibly involve food :-) And as part of these plans, I really need to get up to speed on a few classic dishes which will no doubt be featuring on Under The Blue Gum Tree.
Crumble is one of those classic dishes that I’ve eaten a lot of but somehow never made myself. It’s also one of those dishes that can oscillate between meh and glorious depending on the recipe.
For this delicious apple, blackcurrant and hazelnut crumble I took a couple of tips from ze wonderful Raymond Blanc. Firstly to cook the fruit in a light caramel which makes for a really rich and flavourful compote and, secondly, to pre-cook the crumble topping to retain maximum ‘crunch.’
The eagle eyed among you may notice that this is the same crumble topping that I used for my chocolate ganache with salted caramel, hazelnut crumble and hazelnut tuile biscuits. So you could always make a big batch of crumble and make both desserts. Clever, eh?
(And in case you’re wondering about the star anise, it really works. Trust me!)
apple, blackcurrant and hazelnut crumble
For the crumble:
- 30g unskinned hazelnuts (for tips on how to skin hazelnuts, see here)
- 50g plain flour
- 15g demerara sugar
- 15g caster sugar
- 50g butter, diced and chilled
- pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Rub the flour, sugars and butter together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough bread crumbs. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and toss through the crumble mixture with a pinch of salt. Tip on to a lined baking tray and spread in a layer. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
For the compote:
- 4 eating apples
- 60g butter
- 60g demerara sugar
- 120g frozen blackcurrants
- 2 star anise
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
Peel and core the apples and cut into 2cm cubes. Melt the butter and sugar together in a pan over a medium heat then bubble gently for 3 minutes till it forms a light caramel. Add the apples and cook for a further 3 minutes. Stir in the blackcurrants, star anise and vanilla and cook for 3 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and leave for a final 3 minutes.
To serve, remove the star anise from the compote and discard. Divide the compote between 4 ramekins and top with the crumble. Bake at 180C/160C for about 12 minutes until bubbling at the edges. Serve with custard or ice cream.