I’ll be the first person to tell you that I’m no genius when it comes to sweets. I’m remarkably talented at the art of gobbling them up in a matter of seconds but when it comes to sifting, rising and icing I definitely still need some work. What I’ve always found most appealing about cooking is flavors, elements and being able to play around creatively and that’s not to say that good bakers don’t require those skills (As far as I’m considered Mr. Ansel is a culinary mastermind) but the art of baking is much more about precision and patience, two skills I do not possess. Once in a while I get lucky and my cake will magically rise or something will set as it’s supposed to, but much more frequently I eagerly open the oven to find burnt cookies or dense muffins. Now, I understand that after reading all of this the last thing you’d ever want to do is listen to my baking advice and follow one of my recipes. However, let me redeem myself for one quick second and say that the one thing I have become fairly skillful at is cooking with fruit. When I was eleven I stomped into my narrow kitchen in my mother’s high heels and attempted to make a crumble for the first time while someone filmed me. As I took my first bite and tried the hardest I could to give a food network like reaction to what I had just made I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Since then, I’ve been making crumbles quite frequently and whenever I’m asked to make dessert it’s what I make, and that is why people sometimes buy for a second that I can bake. Crumbles are deceptively easy and are incredibly convenient because most fruit can be tossed into a lovely crumble, whether it’s at its prime or not. Another thing I love about crumbles is the room to experiment. They’re the perfect canvas for spices, zest and even herbs like thyme and rosemary. The recipe below is fairly straight forward, but if you happen to make it and enjoy the outcome I strongly encourage you to add something savory, fragrant or spicy the next time, it really works well!
One last thing then I’ll leave you to make some lovely fruity dessert (I tend to get overly excited about crumbles.)
Toppings, toppings, toppings! Whip up a luscious flavored whipped cream or add a dollop of cold crème fraîche and and you are so set.
- 4 Granny Smith Apples, cut into cubes, about 1/2 inch thick.
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp flour
1 cup AP flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
8 tbsp unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Add all the filling ingredients to a mixing bowl and toss. Set aside and let sit so flavors can meld.
- In a large mixing bowl add flour, cinnamon sugar and salt and mix. Add cubed butter and mix with your hands. When it’s done all the butter and flour will be incorporated but will still have a few pea sized butter lumps, the mixture should be slightly damp.
- Pour filling into baking dish and top generously with the crumble mixture, all apples should be covered. Place in oven until crumble is slightly crunchy and apples are soft, about 45 minutes.
Photographed with orange-vanilla whipped cream.