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Bookish Bites : Apples, apples, apples, apple crumble

Milo started Kindergarten a few weeks ago and, after a few initial wobbles, he seems to be settling in nicely. He’s also starting to enjoy the food which is good. Even to the point of declaring that Kindergarten’s porridge is better than mine. Rude. But, when he came home saying he’d had apple crumble but hadn’t eaten any of it because apple crumble is yuck (seriously, I am loathing the word “yuck” at the moment) I was enormously confused.

Fair enough I suppose, we don’t eat crumble very often at home. When we do I tend to make a pan fried apple crumble for Milo’s dad and I as it’s quick and is enough for just us.  The recipe below is the same as the one we use, but rejigged slightly to increase the quantity and to bake in the oven.

So, to encourage Milo that apple crumble can only be a good thing, we snuggled down with two of our favourite “apple” books. Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins (Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins) and Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett (MacMillan Children’s Books).

Orange Pear Apple Bear is such a fabulously simple and brilliantly playful book. Emily Gravett rearranges the four words from the title to accompany her witty illustrations. Milo still finds this book hilarious. Ten Red Apples is another favourite. Possibly slightly selfishly because I adore Pat Hutchins delightful illustrations, but after a read of Ten Red Apples Milo loves to say “Fiddle-dee-fee” as often and as loudly as he can! After a snuggly read with daddy, Milo and I set about making apple crumble together.

For the crumble:
100g butter (chilled)
175g plain flour
75g light brown sugar
75g chopped almonds (or other nuts… we’ve used a mix in the past of walnuts, pecans and almonds to use up what we have in the cupboard, but Milo’s not a fan of walnuts or pecans so we stuck with almonds)
One teaspoon of cinnamon

For the apple mix:
2.5lbs Granny Smith apples
Approximately 30g butter
Grated zest of lemon
50g fine brown sugar
About half a teaspoon of cinnamon

Start with the crumble topping. Warm your oven to 200 degrees. Using your fingertips, or your toddler, mix the butter and flour together until you have a breadcrumb consistency.

Then add the sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts.

Mix together thoroughly again with your fingertips then sprinkle your mixture into a baking tray and pop in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

While your crumble topping is baking, crack on with the apple mixture. Peel and core your apples, then chop into chunky pieces.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. When it’s fully melted and bubbling, add your apples. Cook until they’re beginning to soften, then add your sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until you have a puree surrounding the apple mix.

Once the apples are cooked pop them into a baking dish, sprinkle your now baked crumble topping on the top and pop into the oven for about 20 minutes or until the apple juice is bubbling and your crumble is brown.

Be sure to serve with custard. Lots and lots of custard.

He looks happy doesn’t he! Milo loves to eat apples. He love almonds. He loves crumble topping. He’s oddly obsessive about cinnamon. He adores custard. What’s not to like eh?

Apple crumble it would seem.

Milo’s verdict: “I’m only eating the custard okay? Not this apple in here and not this crumble. Apple crumble is yuck.”

This recipe makes enough for about six people. Or two people if you want it for pudding three nights in a row! It really is very tasty despite what Milo has to say about it.

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