Come winter we crave warm, hearty, comfort food and that applies to desserts as well as savoury. Good quality berries and soft fruit are hard to come by, but on the bright side, we are blessed with the most fragrant and juicy English apples. I always try and get my apples from our local farmer’s market on Saturday – for one, I often find varieties you would never see in the supermarket (take a look at this link and feast your eyes on these beauties) and as you would expect, they are juicier and far more flavoursome than those available in the shops. This Saturday we came home with Cox’s, Braeburns and some beautiful Egremont Russets. In this recipe I have used a mix of Cox’s and Braeburns although Cox’s in my opinion are usually the best for pies provided they don’t cost the earth!
Apple & Date Crumble as the name suggests has the added sweetness of dates and dark unrefined molasses sugar with a little coconut to add a bit of crunch to the crumble. You can use a lighter sugar if you prefer, but I love the richness of the molasses. Served with Oatley cream, nothing beats an apple crumble for simplicity and taste.
4 large apples (mine weighed about 700 grams) – use slightly tart eating apples like Cox’s or Braeburns
10-12 dates, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon natural unrefined cane sugar (about 30 grams) (I used Billington’s molasses sugar)
Juice of ½ lemon
1 small stick cinnamon
5 heaped tablespoons wholemeal flour (about 120 grams)
3 tablespoons desiccated coconut (about 20 grams)
3 tablespoons light brown sugar (about 50 grams)
3 tablespoons vegan butter
- Peel and roughly chop apples. Coat in lemon juice and set aside
- Mix the sugar with 4 tablespoons of water and gently dissolve on low heat
Dark, syrupy, unrefined cane sugar
- Add apples, dates and cinnamon stick, cover and cook for about 15 minutes until apples are cooked – dry off excess liquid if any
- For the crumble, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and add butter
- Rub with tips of fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs
- Put apples in an ovenproof dish, remember to remove the cinnamon stick, and cover with crumble
Cooked apples and dates in dish
- Cook in pre-heated oven on 180C, 350F or gas mark 4 for 35 minutes (adjust temperature for fan-assisted oven)
- Serve with cream or ice cream – warm is best!