Apple & Blackberry Crumble

Posted by Noelle on November 11th, 2012
Categories: Desserts
Tags: ,,

This crumble is inspired by my trip to Ireland last year. In every little shop, cafe, and restaurant, they proudly display and serve their apple crumbles. They seem to come in several variations, but the one I stumbled on most often was apples paired with blackberries. They were baked in large white fluted quiche dishes and served by the generous slice, topped with sweetened whipped cream. Of course no slice is complete without a pot of strong Irish tea. Can you say heaven? This pays homage to those amazing Irish crumbles. One of the things I noticed is that their crumbs are big, not like what we usually see on our American apple pies...are you drooling yet? So I set out to make a vegan version that would rival any authentic Irish grandma's. Get your tea pot ready, make sure you have some vanilla ice cream in the freezer, and prepare to travel bite-by-bite to Ireland. If you close your eyes, maybe you can imagine the jagged cliffs rising out of the restless blue ocean, the lush green landscape dotted with grazing sheep and goats, and the sweet charming homes with thatched roofs and flowery window boxes. Síochán!



Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the oven is preheating, slice the apples in half horizontally, then in 1/3" thick slices vertically and put into a large bowl. Toss with lemon zest and juice. Add the 1/4 cup maple syrup, corn starch, and salt, stirring gently to combine. Next add the blackberries, if using frozen, do not let them thaw before you add them. Again, stirring gently to combine. Pour the mixture into a glass casserole dish. I used a 10.5"w x 1.5"d round quiche dish. Redistribute blackberries by hand if needed so they are evenly distributed. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to push the mixture down to minimize air pockets.

Next, it's time to make the crumble. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Add the cubed Earth Balance. Using your fingers, squeeze the flour mixture and the Earth Balance together over and over until everything is well incorporated. Clean your hands then pour the remaining maple syrup onto the flour mixture. Use a spoon to stir and fold in the maple syrup. You should start to get large crumbs. You want to stir until most of the flour mixture is moist and there is not much dry loose flour left. Use your hands to crumble the mixture on top of the apples and blackberries. I like my crumbles on the large side. They will get crisp in the oven and they are wonderful. Fill the top of the apple mixture with all of the crumble mixture. Do not press down, you want the crumbs to be free-form and loose. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 15-20 minutes before serving. This gets better the longer it sits. I cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let it sit out on the counter. If you cover it with plastic wrap the crumble will eventually soften. This is best served warm with either vegan whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Makes 8 servings.