Summer’s Swan Song

The bounty of the red-jeweled Autumn Bliss raspberries is finally coming to an end in the garden while the blueberry bushes are beginning to show their fiery autumn color. The sweet tart taste of raspberries give the illusion of warm sunny days. However, there’s no doubt that autumn is here.

I’ve decided to combine the last handfuls of berries harvested with crisp new fall apples, a nod in the direction of that British classic, Apple and Blackberry Crumble – or Crisp, for those of you in North America.

There seem to be a lot of British and American names for this rustic fruit dessert: crumble, crisp, cobbler, grunt, brown betty, buckle, slump, pandowdy, Eve’s pudding. And, let’s not forget the French clafoutis which has made its way into English usage. I’m sure I haven’t exhausted all the terms. In general, they are distinguished by the type of flour-sugar-butter combination – crumbled, or as a sponge or scone-like batter and whether the fruit is on top or bottom. However they are made, or whatever they are called, they are delicious.

raspberry_crumble

Summer’s Swan Song Apple & Raspberry Crumble

Makes enough for 6 (or 4 very greedy people)

  • 6 Medium sized apples
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1-1/2 cups Raspberries

Crumble:

  • 2 oz. Cold butter
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Fine white breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Liberally butter a shallow casserole or ceramic pie pan with additional butter.

Zest the lemon and finely chop. Add zest, the Tablespoons of sugar and the 1/4 cup flour to a large bowl. Peel and core the apples, cutting into quarters. Cut each quarter into four slices. Put the apple slices in the bowl with the flour mixture, stir gently with a wooden spoon so that all the apple slices have been coated.

Cut the cold butter into small chunks and place in a separate, smaller bowl. Add the remainder of the ingredients for the crumble topping. Cut with a pastry cutter, or go the traditional way and rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers. In the end, it should resemble coarse oatmeal.

Gently fold the raspberries into the apples and pile up in the casserole or pan. Sprinkle with the crumble mixture. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the crumble top is golden and the fruit is soft and beginning to bubble.

Cool slightly. Serve at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a liberal dollop of cream.

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