Tag Archives: apple

Mini apple crumble

With an apple I will astonish Paris.
~ Paul Cezanne

It was pretty in the early cooking stages; less so as it neared completion. No creative turn of my camera could make it look good; I gave up after a few tries. Certainly it did not look promising by the time I removed it, cooked, from the oven. It also clung a little heavily to the pan, meaning it did not look cohesive or inviting on the plate. Only its very delicious smell gave me the courage to serve it (gulp) to my flatmate…

So why am I posting this? Keep it real, right? There are days on which everything goes swimmingly in the kitchen, and days on which everything is ugly and your hands feel cursed. But I’m not just posting this to show I’m human…

See, once we bit into it, I decided this deserves a second try sometime in the near future (perhaps with a lightly greased pan and a higher baking temperature – incorporated below). I like having a recipe for a small dessert around (most dessert recipes always feed more!). And, more importantly, we were both surprised by its golden crunchy crumble crust (dare I say, perfect!) and tender caramelised apple filling… mmm.

    Mini apple crumble
    Recipe adapted, with a few modifications, from Sew Happy Geek
    Ingredients:
    2 apples (I used Granny Smith)
    1 tbsp caster sugar
    1/2 cup plain flour
    45g butter, cubed
    1/3 cup sugar (I used a mixture of 2 parts caster sugar, 1 part muscovado sugar – just under 1/3 cup)
    1/2 cup rolled oats
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    2 tbsp kahlua
    Cream or ice cream, to serve (optional)
    Method:
    Preheat the oven to 190°C*. Lightly grease an oven-proof baking dish.
    Peel and cube the apples, and place them in a small saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water and a tablespoon of sugar. Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, till they soften and are partially cooked.
    Meanwhile, rub the butter cubes into the flour with your fingers till it takes on the texture and look of breadcrumbs. Add in the cinnamon, ground ginger, sugar and oats, and mix well with a whisk or fork.
    Add the apples, any liquid in the saucepan and the kahlua to the bottom of the baking dish. Stir gently before spreading the apples out in an even layer.
    Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over the apples, then place the dish in the oven to bake for approximately 40 minutes*, or until the top is cooked/golden and it all smells delicious! Let it cool for a few minutes, then serve with cream or ice cream, if desired.
    Yields 2-3 servings.

* The original recipe says to cook it at 180°C for 20 minutes. It emerged with a way undercooked crust for me after 20 minutes, so I increased the temperature to 190°C for a further 15 minutes, then 200°C for yet a further 10 minutes. I suspect 190°C is optimum crumble-baking temperature (based on a few quick Google comparisons too), and that a crumble takes more than 20 minutes to cook. Obviously you should also factor in your oven’s size and personality!

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Return of the (now rather pretty) ugly apple cake

The original, shimmering self gets buried so deep that most of us end up hardly living out of it at all. Instead we live out all the other selves, which we are constantly putting on and taking off like coats and hats against the world’s weather.
~ Frederick Buechner

Right now, my head throbs like a wall has just slammed itself against me 50 times. It hurts. Both literally, and figuratively. I am angry with and thoroughly tired of pretense, pride, and people with a shaky set of principles/values. I want to say to Life, “oh why bother?” and storm off.

But I refrain (barely), because that isn’t a party I want to crash. There are moments like now at which my resolve to remain optimistic and true weakens, but I really want it to stay intact. Somehow.

Maybe I have a naïve sense of optimism, maybe the world says “grow up kid, and start joining in if you want to go somewhere”… but I can’t. I don’t know how. If being real means losing, then I suppose I’ll have to learn how to contend with loss. And I get tired of people with ugly hearts but I keep trying again for some bizarre reason that even I don’t understand. I remember I am far from perfect too. I remember that everyone carries their own pain. I try. I fail. I try to try again.

I find myself journeying sometimes repeatedly to the centre of disaster in a completely mad quest for truth, and from a belief that deep down people are still good before they are bad.

But can I just be honest about how I feel right this moment. I am exhausted. I doubt my own sanity. I wonder if maybe honesty just “doesn’t work” in some places, if people are actually really happier if they can sweep things under the carpet and leave them there to rot. I am tired of feeling empathy. I want to not care. I have temporarily lost the sense of optimism I woke up with today (6.30am, I was making caramel for the cake topping in my kitchen, and I was feeling happier than Maria singing on the hills).

Tomorrow will be better.

Hmm. This post is not conducive to a food blog, you are saying…… and yes of course you are right. I’m sorry. Will you accept cake as an apology?

It’s not my cake, it’s Tessa Kiros’s. And it’s got apples below and caramel on top :-)

Last night, I made the cake bit of Tessa Kiros’s apple cake with toffee topping (made the topping this morning). I was excited whilst making it because I thought it was a new recipe… and I am glad I didn’t realise I had made it before until I looked through my blog archives. If I had, I would have recalled the disaster it was last time and not discovered the recipe for what it’s meant to be (a lovely cake).

Funny, even as I conclude this post I realise that this cake is apt for today. It’s “try again” cake. If it turns out ugly the first time (and it may, if you have a funny oven and no electric beaters), try, try again.

And that’s all folks. I’ve got a very busy day tomorrow, so time to hit the sack. Have a beautiful Saturday filled with hope and perfect caramel!